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Author Cathcart, Brian.

Title The fly in the cathedral : how a small group of Cambridge scientists won the race to split the atom / Brian Cathcart
Edition out of print/ paperback edition coming 2005
Published London., [England] : Viking, 2004


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 MELB  539.6 Cat/Fit  AVAILABLE
Description xii, 308 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 23 cm
Summary "Three quarters of a century ago no one could describe the atomic nucleus. Discovering its existence was Lord Rutherford's greatest scientific achievement but even he caught only a glimpse. Incapable of stopping there, he ached to know more - to catch the fly, examine it, dissect it and illuminate its mystery." "For a time all efforts to crack it open were stalled. No theory was possible until it could be tamed experimentally and no experiment seemed feasible since it guarded its secrets so fiercely. Then, just at the point of despair, John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton, two young researchers in a grubby basement room at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, came under Rutherford's guidance. And, with paper-and-pencil calculations, hand-made apparatus and the odd lump of plasticine, they changed everything." "Recreating the frustrations, excitements and obsessions of 1932, the 'mircle year' of British physics, The Fly in the Cathedral reveals the astonishing story behind the splitting of the atom - the most celebrated scientific experiment of its time. Involving intense international competition, a cast of Nobel prize-winners, a few silly experiments and some revolutionary physics, Brian Cathcart's narrative is inspired by the dreams and endeavour that led the last true gentlemen scientists to the very essence of the universe: the heart of matter."--BOOK JACKET
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Cavendish Laboratory (Cambridge, England) -- History.
Cavendish Laboratory -- History
Nuclear physics.
Nuclear physics -- History.
Nuclear physicists -- England -- Cambridge.
LC no. 2004056348
ISBN 0670883212 :