File Size: 55127 KB
Print Length: 389 pages
Publisher: Pegasus Books; 1 edition (June 6, 2017)
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
When you haven’t read Doctor. Mahaffey’s prior works, you should know that he is a gifted writer. He could be least as skilled as Rich Rhodes (The Making of the Atomic Bomb) in explaining nuclear science to laymen in a way that is apparent without being condescending. Dr. Mahffey provides the perfect amount of technical information. The readers will obtain an outstanding understanding of nuclear technology without being bored by arcane details.
This is the most entertaining book in the trilogy. You need not have access to read the before two books in order to appreciate this excellent account of some of the most exhilarating episodes in the history of nuclear technology., Mahaffey is a good writer, and has an eye for oddball anecdotes. He will get caught up with the details sometimes, and the text can be technically heavy. I like his discursive-techie voice. He's fond of tiny-print footnotes; some have a concealed nugget or two. I’m the intended audience, and the book (mostly) clicked for me.
If I actually were you, I'd skim the antique N-ray things (Introduction) very lightly, especially if you're already familiar with this fine demo of Feynman's maxim that " the best person to trick is yourself. "
Part 1 relates Ronald Richter's fusion-power boondoggle in Argentina, which he sold to Juan Peron as a vanity project. Richter burned through the equivalent of 0 million in this money in 4 years! (1948-52). Basis was obviously a laboratory curiosity for inducing somewhat of fusion with a powerful electric arc. You are doing get some fusion that way (probably), but absolutely no possiblity to commercialize it. Regarding course, nothing else has worked, either, after many billions spent, and practical blend power is still “40 years away"....
More misdirected projects, per Mahaffey. He or she pans the “Star Wars” ABM project, pitched by Edward Teller -- but admits it scared the hell out of the Soviets, and likely contributed to the collapse of the USSR. Next, nuclear-powered aircraft! Suggestions that were, well, unlikely to succeed. You will learn more about the Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Lab you will want to know. Skim for cool anecdotes.
Cold blend (Ch. 3 et ing. ):
Mahaffey & colleagues were the initial Americans to " confirm" Pons & Fleischmann's 1989 “discovery. ” Sadly, this is the result of rush, and an odd malfunction of their neutron detectors. Probably something similar happened in the P&F experiments. Cool fusion, very unlikely when announced, is now deceased, dead, dead.
Cold War, WW2:.
“It's the best thing we won the war. If we we hadn't, I'd be hanged as a war criminal" -- Gen. Curtis LeMay, quoted by Mahaffey
I posted a few of quotes at Goodreads, where you can get a quick idea of the flavor of the guide.
Rest of the guide is worth reading, but I actually started skimming. Always a chance of a nugget, or a chuckle: the Chechen guerrilla who stole a super-powerful cobalt-60 source: " he was dead in 30 minutes, " the record so far.
Philip D. Tillman, In this immensely captivating book, the author recounts various activities, projects, technical developments, ideas, experiments, etc., who have seen the light of day, to varying degrees and in various ways, at some time or other during the nuclear age. In some of them, the author himself was actively involved. Some of these schemes were well thought out there and have yet to be validated and some switched out to be incredible flops for different reasons.
I actually have enjoyed this book very much, as I have the author’s prior books. The prose is energetic, authoritative, detailed, often witty, occasionally humorous and quite engaging. Mcdougal pulls very few punches when explaining technical details throughout the book. Some words are briefly explained however generally, assumptions are made about the reader’s basic knowledge in nuclear science and technology and about assorted instruments used in the various projects. Consequently, although there is much background in the stories referred to that they may be enjoyed by everyone, I believe visitors with a science/physics/technical history as well as those who are serious research enthusiasts are likely to be in an advantage in being able to discover the most out of this most engrossing guide., You probably need to have a strong science interest and education to enjoy this book. The title should probably use the phrase misadventures, instead than adventures. It explains a number of nuclear projects, experiments, or cockamamie ideas that failed for one reason or another. Two chapters are put in on cold fusion, for example, an idea that the author himself admitted took him in long enough for him to " confirm" its existence, only to discover that the " proof" of its existence was simply an instrumentation error. The guide is written with a degree of wit, especially in the numerous footnotes, which are often more entertaining than the primary text.
I enjoyed the guide and recommend it to the non-physicsphobic. I performed catch one error in the book. In Part 10 he describes the three-filter phenomenon, which entails polarized filters. He claims that if you take two polarized filters and rotate them 180 levels to one another you will block out all light. He meant 90 levels. He then goes on to say the 3 rd filter should be oriented at a 45 degree angle, halfway between the other two. 45 is halfway between 0 and 90, not 0 and 180.
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