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The Resource Hydrogen : the essential element, John S. Rigden

Hydrogen : the essential element, John S. Rigden

Hydrogen : the essential element
Title remainder
the essential element
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John S. Rigden
Seduced by simplicity, physicists find themselves endlessly fascinated by hydrogen, the simplest of atoms. Hydrogen has shocked, it has surprised, it has embarrassed, it has humbled and again and again it has guided physicists to the edge of new vistas where the promise of basic understanding and momentous insights beckoned. The allure of hydrogen, crucial to life and critical to scientific discovery, is at the center of this book, which tells a story that begins with the big bang and continues to unfold today. In this biography of hydrogen, John Rigden shows how this singular atom, the most abundant in the universe, has helped unify our understanding of the material world from the smallest scale, the elementary particles, to the largest, the universe itself. It is a tale of startling discoveries and dazzling practical benefits spanning more than one hundred years from the first attempt to identify the basic building block of atoms in the mid-nineteenth century to the discovery of the Bose-Einstein condensate only a few years ago. With Rigden as an expert and engaging guide, we see how hydrogen captured the imagination of many great scientists--such as Heisenberg, Pauli, Schr Dinger, Dirac, and Rabi--and how their theories and experiments with this simple atom led to such complex technical innovations as magnetic resonance imaging, the maser clock, and global positioning systems. Along the way, we witness the transformation of science from an endeavor of inspired individuals to a monumental enterprise often requiring the cooperation of hundreds of scientists around the world. Still, any biography of hydrogen has to end with a question: What new surprises await us?
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Looks at the mysteries, scientific discoveries, and benefits of the chemical element hydrogen
YALSA Outstanding Book for the College Bound, 2004.
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Dewey number
  • illustrations
  • portraits
index present
LC call number
LC item number
R54 2003
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
Target audience
the essential element
the essential element
John S. Rigden
Hydrogen : the essential element, John S. Rigden
Hydrogen : the essential element, John S. Rigden
Originally published: 2002
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Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
In the beginning: hydrogen and the Big Bang -- Hydrogen and the unity of matter: the Prout Hypothesis (William Prout, 1815) -- Hydrogen and the spectra of the chemical elements: a Swiss high school teacher finds a pattern (Johann Jakob Balmer, 1885) -- The Bohr model of hydrogen: a paradigm for the structure of atoms (Niels Bohr, 1913) -- Relativity meets the quantum in the hydrogen atom (Arnold Sommerfeld, 1916) -- The Fine-Structure Constant: a strange number with universal significance (Arnold Sommerfeld, 1916) -- The birth of quantum mechanics: the hydrogen atom answers the "crucial question" (Werner Heisenberf and Wolfgang Pauli, 1925-26; Paul Dirac, 1925-26) -- The hydrogen atom: midwife to the birth of wave mechanics (Erwin Schrodinger, 1926) -- The hydrogen atom and Dirac's theory of the electron (Paul Dirac, 1928) -- Hydrogen guides nuclear physicists: the discovery of deuterium (Harold Urey, 1932) -- Hubris meets hydrogen: the magnetic moment of the proton (Otto Stern, 1933) -- The magnetic resonance method: the origin of magnetic resonance imaging (I.I. Rabi, 1938) -- New nuclear forces required: the discovery of the quadrupole moment of the deuteron (Norman F Ramsey and I.I. Rabi, 1939) -- Magnetic resonance in bulk matter (NMR) (Edward M. Purcell and Felix Bloch, 1946) -- Hydrogen's challenge to Dirac theory: quantum electrodynamics as the prototype physical theory (Willis Lamb, 1947) -- The hydrogen atom portends an anomaly with the electron (I.I. Rabi, John E Nafe, and Edward B. Nelson, 1946) -- Hydrogen maps the galaxy (Edward M. Purcell and Harold Ewen, 1951) -- The hydrogen maser: a high-precision clockj (Norman F. Ramsey and Daniel Kleppner, 1960) -- The Rydberg constant: a fundamental constant (Johannes Robert Rydberg, 1890; Theodor W. Hansch, 1992) -- The abundance of deuterium: a check on Big Bang cosmology (David N. Schramm, 1945-1997) -- Antihydrogen: the first antiatom -- The Bose-Einstein condensate for hydrogen (Satyendranath Bose, 1924; Albert Einstein, 1925; Eric A. Cornell and Carl E Weiman, 1995; Daniel Kleppner and Tom Greytak, 1998) -- Exotic hydrogen-like atoms: from theory to technology
Control code
22 cm.
{'DOVER': ''}
288 p.
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ill., ports.
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      73 Locust St, Dover, NH, 03820, USA
      43.19289 -70.876331
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