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Big Science    by Michael Hiltzik order for
Big Science
by Michael Hiltzik
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Anyone who has attended UC Berkeley is familiar with the large science complex nestled in the hill above the campus behind the football stadium. The Lawrence Radiation Lab, as it is know today, housed a cyclotron (a particle accelerator) that made Nobel Prize winner Ernest Lawrence world famous.

This detailed book charts the career of the scientist who eighty years ago used his invention, the cyclotron, to not only revolutionize nuclear physics but also launch the military-industrial complex that changed many facets of everyday life.

At the time, the work Lawrence and his colleagues focused on was directed towards ending World War II and out of their efforts came innovations such as radar and the atomic bomb.

Since then these efforts, which are often referred to as Big Science, have been utilized in numerous ways from more advanced weapons development to space travel.

Anyone interested in how all this came about and how Lawrence ushered in this new era will find a wealth of information in this lengthy (over 500 pages) but highly readable volume. Accompanying the text are over twenty pages of black and white photos which help flesh out this fascinating story.

Also, for those who may have attended UC Berkeley and didn't fully realize what was happening 'up on the hill at the rad lab' and what some of their classmates were engaged in, this book will fill them in and provide the answers to some of their questions.

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