Politics of physics.
* Atomic Bomb by Peter Rice-Evans. Richelieu Press, price 25 [pounds sterling].
Atomic Bomb by Peter Rice-Evans is written in the style of a play that attempts to paint a picture of how physics underpinned the development of nuclear weapons during the 20th century. Act 1 kicks off in Berlin in 1926 with Albert Einstein congratulating Werner Heisenberg for his work on quantum mechanics. From thereon in the dramatis personae is a roll-call of scientific and engineering glitterati, including Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard, along with political input from the likes of Harold Macmillan and Margaret Thatcher.
The narrative moves through an imagined chain of events encompassing technological advancements, ethical dilemmas, and unintended consequences. The last act takes us to the development of the large hadron collider at Cern.
Rice-Evans has a colourful flair for language that enables the play to dance along at a merry pace. For students of physics and nuclear engineering in particular it's an informative way of dealing with what can be a rather dry subject.