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Climbing The Mountain: The Scientific Biography of Julian Schwinger Paperback – 16 Oct 2003
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Review from previous edition ... a through and comprehensive account of Schwinger's life and work... a valuable testament to the life and legacy of Julian Schwinger (Lowell Brown, Physics World)
... the first full-length biography of Julian Schwinger ... scholarly and well done. The influence of Julian Schwinger on the physics of his time has been profound. (Robert Finkelstein, CERN Courier)
Mehra and Milton provide a great deal of material from interviews and archival files and thus help give us a fuller picture of Schwinger. Perhaps their most important contribution is their account of the evolution of many of Schwinger's thoughts. [...] It does shed light on a many-faceted genius. (Tian Yu Cao, Physics Today)
From the Publisher
' ... a through and comprehensive account of Schwinger's life and work ... a valuable testament to the life and legacy of Julian Schwinger' Physics World --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
Superficially, ‘Climbing the Mountain’ is very like ‘The Beat of a Different Drum’. The scientist’s life is charted from his childhood, through his formative years, on to his early successes. His defining moments of triumph are detailed and his subsequent adventures are recounted. Relatively ‘hardcore’ technical accounts of his work are given; it helps if the reader has studied physics at a post-graduate level. A leavening of anecdotes and asides is sprinkled through the sums; nonetheless the book is not an easy read. Much is quoted from the subject’s work and from earlier accounts of his life, and is scrupulously referenced. In ‘The Beat of a Different Drum’ this approach works; in ‘Climbing the Mountain’ it does not. There is too much evidence of ‘cut and paste’ and inadequate editing; episodes are re-related unnecessarily. Great chunks of the book are duplicated in ‘A Quantum Legacy – Seminal Papers of Julian Schwinger’ (K.A. Milton Ed.) published by World Scientific. Other than that Schwinger was a nice quiet chap, that his wife Clarice was a great support who nonetheless had a lot of fun herself and that Pauli was a rather unpleasant person, any reader familiar with JS’s published work will not learn much new from this book. For the non-physicist it does present a problem: what made this man great? Feynman was fun, with a gift for self mythology. JS was just a genius and somehow this book does not do him justice.
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