Analogies in Physics and Life: A Scientific Autobiography
Richard M. Weiner
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Analogies play a fundamental role in science. To understand how and why, at a given moment, a certain analogy was used, one has to know the specific, historical circumstances under which the new idea was developed. This historical background is never presented in scientific articles and quite rarely in books. For the general reader, the undergraduate or graduate student who learns the subject for the first time, but also for the practitioner who looks for inspiration or who wants to understand what his colleague working in another field does, these historical circumstances can be fascinating and useful. This book discusses a series of analogy effects in subatomic physics, the prediction and theory of which the author has contributed to in the last 50 years. These phenomena are presented at a level accessible to the non-specialist, without formulae but with emphasis on the personal and historical background: memoirs of meetings, discussions and correspondence with collaborators and colleagues. As such, besides its scientific aspects, the book constitutes an absorbing witness account of a holocaust survivor who subsequently illegally crossed the Iron Curtain to escape communist persecution.