Pais, A. The genius of science : a portrait gallery
Abraham Pais. The genius of science: a portrait gallery
The late Abraham Pais' last book is a collection of nineteen biographical essays on famous twentieth-century physicists, including luminaries like Einstein, Bohr, Pauli, and Dirac. Their common denominator is that Pais knew them all personally, some very well, such as Res Jost, whom he calls `the best friend I ever had', some less so. Although Pais gives ample attention to the scientific achievements of his subjects, it is through his discussion of their lives and personalities that he brings them to life - as he explicitly intended to do. It is always a joy to read Pais' prose, especially in cases such as Jost or George Uhlenbeck, where his deep affection comes to the foreground. In his foreword, Pais draws the reader's attention with some emphasis to the article on Einstein, written for a Danish encyclopedia, in which he had to summarize his extensive historical work on Einstein into a 2000-word essence.
Throughout the volume, Pais illuminates the personalities and achievements of these stellar scientists. The result is virtually a who's who of 20th-century physics--a superb collection of portraits that sheds light on the physicists, their work, and their lasting influence on science.
Oxford University Press
The Rockefeller University, "Pais, A. The genius of science : a portrait gallery" (2000). RU Authors. 140.