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The Lost Notebook of ENRICO FERMI

The True Story of the Discovery of Neutron-Induced Radioactivity

  • Francesco Guerra
  • Nadia Robotti

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-X
  2. Francesco Guerra, Nadia Robotti
    Pages 1-3
  3. Francesco Guerra, Nadia Robotti
    Pages 4-12
  4. Francesco Guerra, Nadia Robotti
    Pages 13-45
  5. Francesco Guerra, Nadia Robotti
    Pages 46-68
  6. Francesco Guerra, Nadia Robotti
    Pages 69-94
  7. Francesco Guerra, Nadia Robotti
    Pages 108-118
  8. Francesco Guerra, Nadia Robotti
    Pages 119-139
  9. Francesco Guerra, Nadia Robotti
    Pages 141-149
  10. Francesco Guerra, Nadia Robotti
    Pages 150-177
  11. Francesco Guerra, Nadia Robotti
    Pages 179-226
  12. Francesco Guerra, Nadia Robotti
    Pages 228-232
  13. Francesco Guerra, Nadia Robotti
    Pages E1-E1
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 233-261

About this book

Introduction

This book tells the curious story of an unexpected finding that sheds light on a crucial moment in the development of physics: the discovery of artificial radioactivity induced by neutrons. The finding in question is a notebook, clearly written in Fermi's handwriting, which records the frenzied days and nights that Fermi spent experimenting alone, driven by his theoretical ideas on beta decay. The notebook was found by the authors while browsing through documents left by Oscar D'Agostino, the chemist among Fermi's group. From Fermi's notes, they reconstruct with skill and expertise the detailed timeline of the critical days leading up to his vital discovery. While much is already known about the road that led Fermi to his important result, this is the first time that it has been possible to reconstruct precisely when and how the initial evidence of neutron-induced decay was obtained. In relating this fascinating story, the book will be of great interest not only to those with a passion for the history of science but also to a wider audience.

Keywords

history of nuclear physics neutron-induced radioactivity Enrico Fermi Fermi's beta decay theory Hirpine notebook Physics Rome Congress: 1931 Paris Congress 1932 Orso Mario Corbino Solvay Congress Fermi's discovery of neutron-induced radioactivity Oscar D'Agostino Archives Artificial radioactivity

Authors and affiliations

  • Francesco Guerra
    • 1
  • Nadia Robotti
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di FisicaUniversita di Roma La SapienzaRomaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di FisicaUniversità di GenovaGenovaItaly

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69254-8
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-69253-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-69254-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site