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Graham Farmelo - Author

About the Author

Graham Farmelo is Senior Research Fellow at the Science Museum, London, and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Northeastern University, Boston, USA. He edited the best-selling It Must be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science in 2002. His biography of Paul Dirac, The Strangest Man, won the 2009 Costa Biography Prize and the 2010 Los Angeles Times Science Book Prize.

 

Author photo © Paul Stuart

Featured books by Graham Farmelo

Churchill's Bomb A Hidden History of Britain's First Nuclear Weapons Programme

Churchill's Bomb A Hidden History of Britain's First Nuclear Weapons Programme

Author: Graham Farmelo Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2014

Churchill's Bomb reveals a new aspect of the great Prime Minister's life, so far completely neglected by historians: his relations with his nuclear scientists, and his management of Britain's policy on atomic weapons. Churchill was far more interested in science than he appeared. He made brave efforts to understand the exciting and sinister new world opened up by quantum physics in the 1920s and 30s, and wrote repeatedly about the coming of unimaginably dangerous new explosives. Britain then was the world leader in nuclear research. But when the awful possibility of actually building an atomic bomb raised its head, Churchill made crucial errors that ensured Britain's exclusion from the American-led project to build the bomb. In this original and controversial book, award-winning biographer Graham Farmelo shows a new and less flattering side to the great war leader.

Other books by Graham Farmelo

Churchill's Bomb A Hidden History of Britain's First Nuclear Weapons Programme

Churchill's Bomb A Hidden History of Britain's First Nuclear Weapons Programme

Author: Graham Farmelo Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2014

Churchill's Bomb reveals a new aspect of the great Prime Minister's life, so far completely neglected by historians: his relations with his nuclear scientists, and his management of Britain's policy on atomic weapons. Churchill was far more interested in science than he appeared. He made brave efforts to understand the exciting and sinister new world opened up by quantum physics in the 1920s and 30s, and wrote repeatedly about the coming of unimaginably dangerous new explosives. Britain then was the world leader in nuclear research. But when the awful possibility of actually building an atomic bomb raised its head, Churchill made crucial errors that ensured Britain's exclusion from the American-led project to build the bomb. In this original and controversial book, award-winning biographer Graham Farmelo shows a new and less flattering side to the great war leader.

Churchill's Bomb

Churchill's Bomb

Author: Graham Farmelo Format: eBook Release Date: 08/10/2013

Perhaps no scientific breakthrough has shaped the course of human history as much as the harnessing of the atom. Yet the twentieth century might have turned out entirely differently had this powerful technology stayed under the control of Great Britain, whose scientists spearheaded the Allies nuclear arms program at the outset of World War II. As award-winning science historian Graham Farmelo reveals in Churchills Bomb, Britains supposedly visionary leader remained unconvinced of the potentially earth-shattering implications of his physicists research. Churchill ultimately shared Britains nuclear secrets withand ceded its initiative toAmerica, whose successful development and deployment of an atomic bomb placed the United States in a position of supreme power at the dawn of the Nuclear Age.A groundbreaking investigation of the twentieth centurys most important scientific discovery, Churchills Bomb reveals the secret history of the weapon that transformed modern geopolitics.

Churchill's Bomb

Churchill's Bomb

Author: Graham Farmelo Format: eBook Release Date: 08/10/2013

Perhaps no scientific development has shaped the course of modern history as much as the harnessing of nuclear energy. Yet the twentieth century might have turned out differently had greater influence over this technology been exercised by Great Britain, whose scientists were at the forefront of research into nuclear weapons at the beginning of World War II. As award-winning biographer and science writer Graham Farmelo describes in Churchill's Bomb, the British set out to investigate the possibility of building nuclear weapons before their American colleagues. But when scientists in Britain first discovered a way to build an atomic bomb, Prime Minister Winston Churchill did not make the most of his country's lead and was slow to realize the bomb's strategic implications. This was odd-he prided himself on recognizing the military potential of new science and, in the 1920s and 1930s, had repeatedly pointed out that nuclear weapons would likely be developed soon. In developing the bomb, however, he marginalized some of his country's most brilliant scientists, choosing to rely mainly on the counsel of his friend Frederick Lindemann, an Oxford physicist with often wayward judgment. Churchill also failed to capitalize on Franklin Roosevelt's generous offer to work jointly on the bomb and ultimately ceded Britain's initiative to the Americans, whose successful development and deployment of the bomb placed the United States in a position of supreme power at the dawn of the nuclear age. After the war, President Truman and his administration refused to acknowledge a secret cooperation agreement forged by Churchill and Roosevelt and froze Britain out of nuclear development, leaving Britain to make its own way. Dismayed, Churchill worked to restore the relationship. Churchill came to be terrified by the possibility of thermonuclear war and emerged as a pioneer of detente in the early stages of the Cold War. Contrasting Churchill's often inattentive leadership with Franklin Roosevelt's decisiveness, Churchill's Bomb reveals the secret history of the weapon that transformed modern geopolitics.

The Strangest Man The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius

The Strangest Man The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius

Author: Graham Farmelo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/12/2009

'A monumental achievement - one of the great scientific biographies.' Michael Frayn The Strangest Man is the Costa Biography Award-winning account of Paul Dirac, the famous physicist sometimes called the British Einstein. He was one of the leading pioneers of the greatest revolution in twentieth-century science: quantum mechanics. The youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize for Physics, he was also pathologically reticent, strangely literal-minded and legendarily unable to communicate or empathize. Through his greatest period of productivity, his postcards home contained only remarks about the weather. Based on a previously undiscovered archive of family papers, Graham Farmelo celebrates Dirac's massive scientific achievement while drawing a compassionate portrait of his life and work. Farmelo shows a man who, while hopelessly socially inept, could manage to love and sustain close friendship. The Strangest Man is an extraordinary and moving human story, as well as a study of one of the most exciting times in scientific history. 'A wonderful book . . . Moving, sometimes comic, sometimes infinitely sad, and goes to the roots of what we mean by truth in science.' Lord Waldegrave, Daily Telegraph

Strangest Man

Strangest Man

Author: Graham Farmelo Format: eBook Release Date: 25/08/2009

Paul Dirac was among the great scientific geniuses of the modern age. One of the discoverers of quantum mechanics, the most revolutionary theory of the past century, his contributions had a unique insight, eloquence, clarity, and mathematical power. His prediction of antimatter was one of the greatest triumphs in the history of physics. One of Einstein's most admired colleagues, Dirac was in 1933 the youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize in physics.Dirac's personality is legendary. He was an extraordinarily reserved loner, relentlessly literal-minded and appeared to have no empathy with most people. Yet he was a family man and was intensely loyal to his friends. His tastes in the arts ranged from Beethoven to Cher, from Rembrandt to Mickey Mouse.Based on previously undiscovered archives, The Strangest Man reveals the many facets of Dirac's brilliantly original mind. A compelling human story, The Strangest Man also depicts a spectacularly exciting era in scientific history.

It Must be Beautiful Great Equations of Modern Science

It Must be Beautiful Great Equations of Modern Science

Author: Graham Farmelo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2003

Equations lie at the heart of many of the most extraordinarily successful scientific theories. Here, some of the greatest living scientists unpack the best known equations so that they become understandable, and we are entertained and enlightened by a knowledge of how it was arrived at, what it can do and what remains to be understood about it.

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