Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Read Up on Women in Physics

Last week we had a post regarding an article that discussed the lack of women in physics. To follow that post, below are a few books dealing with great women in the history of the science. Though, according the article in Symmetry, there is a disparity between men and women in physics today, that doesn't mean there haven't been great female physicists that have come before!




Strohmaier, B., Rosner, R. W, & Dvorak, P. F. (2006). Marietta Blau, Stars of Disintegration: Biography of a Pioneer of Particle Physics. English ed. Riverside, Calif.: Ariadne Press.

"She was considered extraordinarily gifted by Albert Einstein and was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Physics, twice by Erwin Schrodinger. On the other hand, no obituary was ever published on her. The biographical part of the book which includes personal recollections by friends, describes Marietta Blau's life in Vienna before 1938, her emigration to Mexico, her move to the USA in 1944, her work at leading research centers in the US, her return to Vienna in 1960, and the last decade of her life in her hometown, where she continued to work at the Radium Institute for four years."
















Rife, P. (1999). Lise Meitner and the Dawn of the Nuclear Age. Boston: Birkhäuser.


"Lise Meitner, a contemporary of Einstein's, was a remarkable nuclear physicist whose discovery of nuclear fission paved the way for the Manhattan project, although she was unaware of the project itself. She did not share in the credit for that discovery, in any case, having been passed up by the Nobel Prize committee, while her collaborator, Otto Hahn, did receive the prize in 1945. How these circumstances came about, and how they fit into the evolution of her social conscience and her abhorrence of war are some of the fascinating subjects discussed in the biography by Patricia Rife."


-Gary R. Goldstein, Tufts University
(Full review)







Byers, N., & Williams, G. A. (2006). Out of the Shadows: Contributions of Twentieth-Century Women to Physics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.




"The strength of this book is, of course, the compelling nature of the stories themselves. We learn about the critical contributions made by these physicists and astronomers, many of whom are unknown to most of us, told by people who are able to fully appreciate what these women achieved...This book should be a source of encouragement to female students interested in physics and astronomy and it should be on a bookshelf in the office of every physics and astronomy professor or teacher or anyone else who is in a position to give career guidance to young students."


-Marty Epstein , California State University, Los Angeles
(Full review)









Kiernan, D. (2013). The Girls of Atomic City: the Untold Story of the Women who Helped win World War II. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.





"Kiernan’s concentration on the women’s role provides a necessary focus to her account, and as a historical glimpse, “The Girls of Atomic City” is fascinating."


"With her book, Kiernan preserves these rich stories for future generations."

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