: pbk. ISBN 9780444987495
Peter Kapitza (1894-1984; awarded the Nobel Prize in 1978) was so much bigger than life, possessed so much force of personality and was at the same time so capable and productive that it is hardly surprising that he contributed to the vitality of English physics (he was active at Cambridge Univers
The unusual career of the famous Soviet physicist Peter Kapitza was divided between Cambridge and Moscow. In Cambridge he was a protege of Rutherford and while studying there he opened up a new area of research in magnetism and low temperature physics. However, in 1934, during a summer visit to the Soviet Union, Kapitza was prevented from returning to Cambridge and remained in Moscow for the rest of his long life. In spite of many ups and downs and considerable difficulties in his relations with top political figures in the Kremlin, he continued to enhance his scientific reputation and late in life was awarded the Nobel Prize. After an introductory biographical memoir, the greater part of the book consists of extracts from the numerous letters Kapitza wrote throughout his life, letters which are distinguished by their eloquence, the originality of his opinions and his forthrightness. His very interesting correspondence with Rutherford and above all his many letters to top political figures in the Soviet Union such as Molotov, Stalin and Khrushchev on questions of scientific and industrial policy are all included in this unique document.
List of illustrations. 1. Biographical introduction. 2. Some early letters (1913-1920). 3. Letters to his mother (1921-1927). 4. Letters between Peter Kapitza in Moscow and Anna Kapitza in Cambridge (1934-1935). 5. Correspondence with Rutherford (1921-1937), Bohr and other physicists. 6. Letters to the Kremlin (1929-1980).
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