#Book á Atomic Adventures Ø eBook or E-pub free

An excellent romp through the world of nuclear physics The author, while a highly technical person, is able to write about technical things so that anyone can understand Plus a large dollop of humor tacked on for good measure.Many of the stories are around science frauds or failures of one type or another Well researched Expect a lot of footnotes, over 200 are there A lot of the humor is in those footnotes I was laughing out loud at many of his descriptions of past experiments.I knew a couple of the stories, the nuclear powered bomber nuclear spacecraft engine, but the author filled in many scientific truths about each that I was lacking I also found the explanation of the Roswell incident in 1947 quite detailed and believable One of the themes through the book cold fusion linking some of it is how people, both technical non technical alike, can be lead astray through confirmation bias Many times people want to believe that something is true, when the physics says it can t ever happen Here the author works to poke holes in some of those beliefs, but have you laughing at the same time.I ll look for the author s two previous books, as they sound fascinating. Mahaffey is a good writer, and has an eye for oddball anecdotes He gets carried away with the details sometimes, and the text can be technically dense I like his discursive techie voice He s fond of tiny print footnotes some have a hidden nugget or two I m the intended audience, and the book mostly clicked for me Solid 4 stars overall 5 when he s coookin.If I were you, I d skim the antique N ray stuff Introduction very lightly, especially if you re already familiar with this fine demo of Feynman s maxim that the easiest person to fool is yourself Chapter 1 relates Ronald Richter s fusion power boondoggle in Argentina, which he sold to Juan Peron as a vanity project Richter burned through the equivalent of 300 million in today s money in 4 years 1948 52 Basis was a laboratory curiosity for inducing a bit of fusion with a powerful electric arc You do get some fusion that way probably , but zero chance to commercialize it Of course, nothing else has worked, either, after many billions spent, and practical fusion power is still 40 years away.Chapter 2 More misguided projects, per Mahaffey He pans the Star Wars ABM project, pitched by Edward Teller but admits it scared the hell out of the Soviets, and likely contributed to the collapse of the USSR Next, nuclear powered aircraft Ideas that were, well, unlikely to succeed You will learn about the Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Lab than you will want to know Skim for cool anecdotes.Cold fusion Ch.3 et al Mahaffey colleagues were the first Americans to confirm Pons Fleischmann s 1989 discovery Sadly, this was the result of haste, and an odd malfunction of their neutron detectors Probably something similar happened in the PF experiments Cold fusion, very unlikely when announced, is now dead, dead, dead.Cold War, WW2.I posted a couple of quotes see sidebar, where you can get a quick idea of the flavor of the book It s a good thing we won the war If we hadn t, I d be hanged as a war criminal Gen Curtis LeMay, quoted by MahaffeyRest of the book is worth reading, but I started skimming Always a chance of a nugget, or a chuckle the Chechen guerrilla who stole a super powerful cobalt 60 source he was dead in 30 minutes, the record so far.Good pro review paywalled #Book õ Atomic Adventures ä Whether You Are A Scientist Or A Poet, Pro Nuclear Energy Or Staunch Opponent, Conspiracy Theorist Or Pragmatist, James Mahaffey S Books Have Served To Open Up The World Of Nuclear Science Like Never Before With Clear Explanations Of Some Of The Most Complex Scientific Endeavors In History, Mahaffey S New Book Looks Back At The Atom S Wild, Secretive Past And Then Toward Its Potentially Bright FutureMahaffey Unearths Lost Reactors On Far Flung Pacific Islands And Trees That Were Exposed To Active Fission That Changed Gender Or Bloomed In The Dead Of Winter He Explains Why We Have Nuclear Submarines But Not Nuclear Aircraft And Why Cold Fusion Doesn T Exist And Who Knew That Radiation Counting Was Once A Fashionable Trend Though Parts Of The Nuclear History Might Seem Like A Fiction Mash Up, Where Cowboys Somehow Got A Hold Of A Reactor, Mahaffey S Vivid Prose Holds The Reader In Thrall Of The Infectious Energy Of Scientific Curiosity And Ingenuity That May One Day Hold The Key To Solving Our Energy Crisis Or Sending Us To Mars A book full of stories about atomic bombs, cold fusion, and the history of nuclear proliferation I loved the isotopes and nuclides And if you see a mushroom cloud in the distance with a band of red on top of it, that s most likely a U 235 fission event crowned with a layer of Strontium 90, the main radioactive byproduct of such a blast There is also a chapter with advice on what to do if you are exposed to radiation The text is meticulously footnoted, and ample sources are listed at the end of the book. I listened to the audiobook version of this book whilst commuting.A fascinating and entertaining book with amazing stories of the race to conquer atomic energy Whilst I struggled with the detailed science aspects, the stories of the backroom experiments of the early pioneers are incredible.Worth a read listen if you enjoy science even as an armchair scientist Not as much fun as his book on atomic accidents not as many stories of people doing dumb things with plutonium but good nonetheless The chapter on radionucleides as murder weapons was crazy stuff Largely little known stories centered around atomic technologies, entertainingly told with amusing style What s not to like 2.5 starsI listened to this book on hoopla All 13.5 hours Not what I was expecting The writing was good and the narration was excellent, thank goodness The the good stories were very good but they were bogged down in scientific jargon that was over my tiny head Worse than that, the author had the mind numbing habit of rattling off the model numbers of pieces of equipment used in various processes and experiments Did I really need to know that the centrifuge used in an experiment was the AA 50115 SRC1 No If I had a dollar for each time a model number mentioned by the author this book would have been worth my time. While I loved Atomic Accidents A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima I m having a hard time getting into this one Trying to figure out why it s a little bit textbook y and I m not really sure what thread is holding the whole thing together The text is full of rabbit trails, and while the footnotes are fun they re another layer of rabbit trails off of that Or maybe it s just the wrong time, who knows Sigh. James Mahaffey is former senior research scientist in nuclear physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who, as he says near the end of this book, now writes books If you enjoy geeks geeking on about what they love and I very much do , his books are a lot of fun.This one is about some of the wilder and woollier adventures in atomic energy, bombs, scientific frauds, and all the things that make a life in science a lot exciting than someone thinking of it only as, you know, science, might reasonably assume.Stories include Ronald Richter selling Juan Peron on a fusion reactor project a vanity project for Peron for Richter a clever way to get out of Europe after the Second World War It was based on essentially laboratory trick, for producing a tiny bit of fusion, which unfortunately is impossible to scale up to commercial energy production Or, well, even small scale production for research purposes More than half a century after Richter s Argentine boondoggle, we still appear to be decades away from useful nuclear fusion for energy purposes.Other stories include dirty bombs and what you should do, and the unwisdom of stealing radioactive materials For instance, a Chechen rebel stole some cobalt 69, and was dead in thirty minutes This was really a much better outcome for the rebel than for former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko poisoned with polonium 210, resulting in an agonizing death over the course of several weeks in 2006 Of course, those of us who grew up during the Cold War expect vile actions by the Russians What s startling and disturbing is how often radioactive materials have been used to poison people in the US and other countries, not to make a grand international example of someone, but for the ordinary reasons that lead to stabbings, shootings, and beatings These attempts are often not successful, but in a way, that s hardly the point They happen, and it s scary that they do.On a lighter note, there are the episodes that may have been scientific fraud, or maybe just demonstrations of the fact that the easiest person to fool is yourself One of those is Fleischman Pons announcement of cold fusion in 1989 This would have been a huge breakthrough for the whole world, and it set off a rush to try to duplicate their work Mahaffey and his colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology got involved, and were the first to confirm the cold fusion phenomenon And almost as quickly discovered there was a small problem in their instrumentation Since they had gone to great effort to reproduce everything they could about Fleisschman Pons setup, it s quite likely they d had the same instrument problem Mahaffey is able to be truly merciless and gleeful in telling this particular story, because he s a principal in it.We also get stories of abandoned reactors on forgotten islands, trees that change sex after being irradiated, a totally plausible possible explanation for what really happened at Roswell s Area 51, and accounts of the various efforts made to design an engine that really will let us travel to Mars, and maybe Alpha Centauri.It s a lot of fun, and also pretty informative Recommended.I bought this audiobook.