Related Subjects: Author Index
Book reviews for "Bethe,_Hans_Albrecht" sorted by average review score:

In the Shadow of the Bomb
Published in Hardcover by Princeton Univ Pr (17 April, 2000)
Author: Silvan S. Schweber
Amazon base price: $22.37
List price: $31.95 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $7.35
Buy one from zShops for: $16.50
Average review score:

An Important book for our time
The 21st century is here and ethical may play a significant role in decisions made in scientific research and international affairs. This is so because the world in which we live is seeking a direction for human well-being. What's more, the implications of scientific research have moved to the forefront in the midst of cloning, genetic manipulation and so on. This book reminds us that scientists are people too and some were aware of the possible consequences of their work. They were concerned not only with whether or not something could be done but ought it to be done. Such a book is so important for our times as technology continues run far ahead of ethics and moral accountability. In a world where nuclear weapons are spreading it is important that human beings come to grips with the nuclear menace with a commitment to the elimination of these awful weapons. This book should be read by every scientist and concerned citizen. Our future may depend on the lessons gleaned from scuh publications and the life stories of such extraordinary people like Robert Oppenheimer and Hans Bethe.

Oppenheimer, Bethe and their moral responsibility
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to find out something about two of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. I originally bought this book for a paper on J.R. Oppenheimer's ethical behaviour and I was a bit disappointed that the main part of where he completely changed his point of view concerning the development of the atomic bomhb and the H-bomb was written in the introduction. It is the most informative part of the book anyway, since it is easy to read even if you didn't have more than an introductory course in Physics at school.

All in all I can say that this is a book that gives a good look behind the scenes of science, in the mind of these two scientists who helped shape the world as we enter the next millennium.

Moral responsibility and ethical behaivor
I cannot praise this book too highly. The issues it is concerned with, the qualities of the individuals it focuses upon, the importance of the lessons which Schweber so clearly defines make it an outstanding contribution to science and to general literature. I cannot remember another occasion in which I spent as much time on the introduction to a book as I did in this case.Although the setting is within the realm of science there is no requirement that the reader have a scientific background to appreciate fully the nature of this book which is concerned with moral responsibility and ethical behaivor at a level which impacts on the survival of humanity and the endurance of our planet. I found myself going back to my old copy of Lawrence and Oppenheimer by Nuel Pharr Davis which deals with many of the same issues in Schweber's book; but from a much different perspective. The concurent reading of both books has been a very satisfying experience. I believe In The Shadow of the Bomb is an extremely important book with meaningfull lessons for society. Nothing like it has been presented on this topic before.

Some years ago I visited Los Alamos and toured the small museum in Fuller Lodge which contains some interesting memorabilia from Oppenheimer's era. One is a letter from his secretary to the Buildings and Maintenance Department requesting that a carpenter come to Dr. Oppenheimer's office and drive a nail into the wall so that Dr. Oppenheimer could have a place to hang his hat. A second letter, dated some months later, is a repeat request for the same action. I was well aware that Oppenheimer was a theoretical physicist and not an expermental physicist never the less I marveled at the fact that he was apparently incapable of using even simple tools.I found this lack of a practical approach to a low level technical problem disconserting. If Oppenheimer had learned how to use a hammer to drive a nail perhaps things might have ended for him some what differently. We will never know.

Intermediate Quantum Mechanics
Published in Paperback by Perseus Books (Sd) (January, 1986)
Authors: Hans Albrecht Bethe and Roman Jackiw
Amazon base price: $54.00
Used price: $29.99
Buy one from zShops for: $42.76
Average review score:

A good overview
That quantum mechanics must be understood by anyone working in any area of technology is now well accepted. Indeed, semiconductor device physics, proteomics, and computational chemistry are just three of the more modern areas where a through knowledge of quantum mechanics is needed in order to make any kind of significant progress. This book, written by two of the major players in the development of quantum mechanics in the 20th century, is an excellent overview of how to do practical computations in quantum mechanics. The book is addressed primarily to the aspiring atomic physicist and spectroscopist, but it could serve well anyone interested in the applications of quantum mechanics, such as those in the aforementioned fields. Due to space limitations, I will only review the first 8 chapters of the book.

Chapter 1 is a brief overview of elementary quantum mechanics, and the authors set down the notation and units to be followed in the book. They state the main goal of the book, which is to solve the Schrodinger equation for an atom with nuclear charge Ze. This problem for one-electron is straightforwardly solved, but for more than one electron approximation techniques must be used, a few of which they mention. Since spin will have to be dealt with throughout the book, the authors include a description of spin 1/2 particles.

In chapter 2 the authors discuss the use of symmetry principles in quantum many-particle systems, pointing out the origin of exchange degeneracy and the Pauli exclusion principle. The authors also give an interesting discussion of the experimental determination of symmetry, particularly their argument for the absence of hidden variables.

In chapter 3 the authors give an overview of the quantum mechanics of two-electron atoms, pointing out that the calculations give six-figure agreement between theory and experiment. Perturbation and variational methods are used to solve the Schrodinger equation for this system, and show the origin of the triplet and singlet levels for the helium atom.

In chapter 4, the authors introduce another approximation technique, the self-consistent field or "Hartree-Fock" method, in order to calculate the excited states for the two-electron atom more efficiently. This approach involves using a variational trial function, called the determinantal wave function, as an ansatz, which because of orthogonality and parity considerations, results in a set of equations, called the Hartree-Fock equations, for the single electron orbitals. The "exchange term" in these equations is discussed in detail, involving a notion of a "nonlocal" potential. The physical significance of the eigenvalue in these equations is also discussed, and related to the famous Koopman theorem. It is proven also that atoms with closed shells leads to a spherically symmetric theory. The periodic table is shown to be a consequence of the Pauli principle and the Hartree-Fock calculation.

An improvement to Hartree-Fock, the Thomas-Fermi method, which does not include exchange, is discussed in chapter 5. Classified as a "statistical method", this method finds the effective potential energy experienced by a small test charge, along with the electron density around the nucleus. The authors show how exchange effects can be included using a procedure due to P.A.M. Dirac, which uses a concept of effective exchange potential, and one due to W. Lenz, which is a constrained optimization procedure, requiring that the total energy be stationary.

In order to remove the degeneracy in the atomic shells due to the Hartree-Fock approximation, the authors view it as a perturbation expansion in chapter 6, with the unperturbed Hamiltonian being the Hartree-Fock central field Hamiltonian, and the perturbation being the electrostatic interaction of the electrons minus a suitable average of it. The search for proper linear combinations of zero-order degenerate eigenfunctions to make the total Hamiltonian diagonal entails the use of the total orbital and spim angular momentum of all the electrons in the atom. Hence the authors outline in detail how to perform the addition of angular momenta in this chapter. The reader can see clearly the origin of the famous Clebsch-Gordon coefficients. This program is carried out in more detail in chapter 7, wherein the authors considers and atom which has an electron configuration distributed over several complete and one incomplete shell. The incomplete shell gives several different degenerate solutions, and this degeneracy can be removed by the assignment of angular momentum and spin quantum numbers to the orbitals in the shell. This chapter is characterized by a considerable amount of arithmetic in computing matrix elements, which can readily be handled by modern symbolic computation packages.

The contribution of the spin-orbit interaction to the level structure of atoms, ignored in the previous two chapters, is studied in chapter 8. The authors also consider the interaction of the electron configuration with an external field, such as a magnetic field. The spin-orbit interaction is not considered in a relativistic framework, but instead is given a "pseudo-derivation", in the words of the authors. The (correct) Dirac theory for spin-orbit interaction is given later in chapter 22. And here again, the matrix elements, and reduced matrix elements, considered in this chapter can best be handled by symbolic computation packages. This is particularly true for matrix elements of vector operators between states of different angular momentum, which the authors shy away from. The reader though can see the origin of the famous Wigner-Eckart theorem in the context of these computations. The Zeeman effect, resulting from the interaction of an electron with a homogeneous magnetic field, is discussed, along with the Paschen-Back effect, which results from the external magnetic field being strong enough to allow the Zeeman term in the Hamiltonian to dominate the spin-orbit interaction. Also discussed is the Stark effect, which results when an atom is placed in an external electric field. The authors show how to compute the energy shifts in this case, using, but not proving, some formulas due to Condon and Shortly.

Learn to apply your quantum mechanics
The "Intermediate" of the title means that you are supposed to have learned your basic QM in a book such as Griffiths' "Introduction to Quantum Mechanics" . Bethe's text then leads you to those parts of QM most successful in applications, especially in atomic structure. The treatment of perturbation theory is very clean, simple and effective. The semi-classical theory of radiation is excellently described and then, in perhaps the best part of the book, is used to review Einstein's derivation of Planck's equilibrium distribution of radiation, explaining the need for spontaneous emmission and motivating the treatment of quantum electrodynamics, outlined at the end of the text. This is a great book. What else could one expect from Hans Bethe, the man who discovered how the Sun produces its energy?

Elementary nuclear theory
Published in Unknown Binding by ()
Authors: Hans Albrecht Bethe and Philip Morrison
Amazon base price: $
Used price: $5.59
Collectible price: $18.99
Average review score:
No reviews found.

From Nuclei to Stars (Enrico Fermi International Summer School of Physics, Volume 91)
Published in Textbook Binding by Elsevier Science (March, 1986)
Authors: A. Molinari and R. Ricci
Amazon base price: $129.25
Average review score:
No reviews found.

Hans Bethe: Prophet of Energy
Published in Hardcover by Basic Books (September, 1980)
Authors: Jermy Bernstein and Jeremy Bernstein
Amazon base price: $13.50
Used price: $8.40
Collectible price: $8.47
Average review score:
No reviews found.

La fonction d'onde de Bethe
Published in Unknown Binding by Masson ()
Author: Michel Gaudin
Amazon base price: $
Average review score:
No reviews found.

Prophet of Energy
Published in Paperback by E P Dutton (September, 1981)
Author: Bethe
Amazon base price: $7.25
Used price: $6.50
Average review score:
No reviews found.

Quantum Mechanics of One-And Two-Electron Atoms
Published in Paperback by Plenum Pub Corp (June, 1977)
Author: Hans Albrecht Bethe
Amazon base price: $67.00
Average review score:
No reviews found.

The Road from Los Alamos (Masters of Modern Physics)
Published in Hardcover by Springer Verlag (April, 1991)
Author: Hans Albrecht Bethe
Amazon base price: $39.95
Used price: $6.98
Collectible price: $30.71
Buy one from zShops for: $19.97
Average review score:
No reviews found.

Selected Works of Hans A. Bethe: With Commentary (World Scientific Series in 20th Century Physics, Vol 18)
Published in Hardcover by World Scientific Pub Co (December, 1997)
Author: Hans Albrecht Bethe
Amazon base price: $78.00
Used price: $75.00
Average review score:
No reviews found.

Related Subjects: Author Index

Reviews are from readers at To add a review, follow the Amazon buy link above.