New Directions in Physics represents a fascinating view of the future as seen by some of the remarkable men who were here over 40 years ago. It makes it quite clear that we are still in the dawn of physics—the excitement and challenge that lie ahead are extraordinary. We also get a glimpse of where these remarkable men have been since the end of Project Y of the Manhattan Project and where they see the future directions for physics.
This book comprises 20 chapters, with the first being an introductory chapter describing Los Alamos in the 1980s. The following chapters go on to discuss tiny computers obeying quantum mechanical laws; the past, present, and future of nuclear magnetic resonance; and experimental evidence that an asteroid impact led to the extinction of many species 65 million years ago. Other chapters cover the lunar laboratory; the future of particle accelerators; models, hypotheses and approximations; and comments on three thermonuclear paths for the synthesis of helium. The book also describes how the sad augurs mock their own presage; experiments on time reversal symmetry and parity; the course of our magnetic fusion energy enterprise; early days in the Lawrence Laboratory; nuclear charge distribution in fission; developing larger software systems; reflections on style in physics; tuning up the TPC; remarks on the future of particle physics; the supernova theory; and the history and hierarchy of structure.
This book will be of interest to practitioners in the field of theoretical physics.