In this Book

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"People like myself, who truly feel at home in several countries, are not strictly at home anywhere," writes Abraham Pais, one of the world's leading theoretical physicists, near the beginning of this engrossing chronicle of his life on two continents. The author of an immensely popular biography of Einstein, Subtle Is the Lord, Pais writes engagingly for a general audience. His "tale" describes his period of hiding in Nazi-occupied Holland (he ended the war in a Gestapo prison) and his life in America, particularly at the newly organized Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, then directed by the brilliant and controversial physicist Robert Oppenheimer. Pais tells fascinating stories about Oppenheimer, Einstein, Bohr, Sakharov, Dirac, Heisenberg, and von Neumann, as well as about nonscientists like Chaim Weizmann, George Kennan, Erwin Panofsky, and Pablo Casals. His enthusiasm about science and life in general pervades a book that is partly a memoir, partly a travel commentary, and partly a history of science.

Pais's charming recollections of his years as a university student become somber with the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940. He was presented with an unusual deadline for his graduate work: a German decree that July 14, 1941, would be the final date on which Dutch Jews could be granted a doctoral degree. Pais received the degree, only to be forced into hiding from the Nazis in 1943, practically next door to Anne Frank. After the war, he went to the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen to work with Niels Bohr. 1946 began his years at the Institute for Advanced Study, where he worked first as a Fellow and then as a Professor until his move to Rockefeller University in 1963. Combining his understanding of disparate social and political worlds, Pais comments just as insightfully on Oppenheimer's ordeals during the McCarthy era as he does on his own and his European colleagues' struggles during World War II.

Originally published in 1997.

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Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Prologue
  2. pp. xii-xvi
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  1. Book the First: Europe
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. 1. Descent
  2. pp. 3-6
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  1. 2. Early Years
  2. pp. 7-14
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  1. 3. Bachelor's Degrees in Amsterdam
  2. pp. 15-19
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  1. 4. Of Music, Films, and Other Diversions
  2. pp. 20-23
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  1. 5. First Contacts with Zionism
  2. pp. 24-30
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  1. 6. Utrecht: M.Sc. And Ph.D.
  2. pp. 31-43
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  1. 7. War
  2. pp. 44-51
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  1. 8. Occupation of Holland
  2. pp. 52-65
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  1. 9. Sho'ah
  2. pp. 66-87
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  1. 10.Wartime Experiences of My Family and Me
  2. pp. 88-125
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  1. 11. War's Aftermath: A Last Lesson in Dutch History
  2. pp. 126-135
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  1. 12. My Final Months in Holland
  2. pp. 136-148
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  1. 13. Getting to Know Niels Bohr
  2. pp. 149-178
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  1. Book the Second: America
  2. pp. 179-180
  1. 14. It Is Time to Speak of America
  2. pp. 181-190
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  1. 15. The State of the Union 1946: The U.S., Princeton, and the Institute for Advanced Study
  2. pp. 191-199
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  1. 16. Enter Einstein and Other Interesting New Acquaintances
  2. pp. 200-218
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  1. 17. In Which Oppenheimer Becomes Director and I a Long-Term Member of the Institute
  2. pp. 219-234
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  1. 18. Oppenheimer: Glimpses of a Complex Man
  2. pp. 235-243
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  1. 19. My Career Unfolds
  2. pp. 244-264
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  1. 20. About Unexpected New Physics, Old Friends, and a Grand Tour
  2. pp. 265-283
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  1. 21. Of the Beginnings of Theoretical Particle Physics, Some Baseball History, and Two Long Summer Journeys
  2. pp. 284-301
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  1. 22. Of Symmetry and My Longest Journey
  2. pp. 302-320
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  1. 23. Greenwich Village, American Citizenship, and the Oppenheimer Affair
  2. pp. 321-332
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  1. 24. Of My Best Work and a Year's Leave of Absence. Death of Einstein
  2. pp. 333-348
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  1. 25. My First Trip to Russia and My First Marriage
  2. pp. 349-357
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  1. 26. Enter Joshua. The 1950s, Concluded
  2. pp. 358-368
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  1. 27. Times of Great Change: The Early 1960s
  2. pp. 369-384
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  1. 28. Changing My Workplace from Princeton to New York
  2. pp. 385-398
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  1. 29. What Befell Me in the Late 1960s
  2. pp. 399-407
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  1. 30. The 1970s
  2. pp. 408-424
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  1. 31. A Career Change
  2. pp. 425-445
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  1. 32. My Final Years—So Far
  2. pp. 446-466
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  1. 33. Approaching the Millennium
  2. pp. 467-476
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  1. Notes and References
  2. pp. 477-504
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  1. Onomasticon
  2. pp. 505-511
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  1. Illustrations
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400864492
MARC Record
OCLC
889254460
Pages
520
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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