They are goin' fast!!

A place to keep track of reference material - any particularly useful books, articles, etc. should be listed here.
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Richard Hull
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They are goin' fast!!

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Nov 05, 2003 6:04 pm

I often check the rare and outof print book sites on the web. I note that the classic and incredibly valuable "Fast Neutron Physics", volumes one and two are just not to be had anymore. The lone volume II's out there are very expensive. (Volume one is the most useful, but the set is a true rarity)

Likewise, "The Interpretation of Radium" by Soddy in its english version and later Putnam printed editions are all in the $55.00 plus range. True, clean, first editions are in the $120.00 plus range.

Rutherford's first edition of his first book, "Radioactivity", (1904) is over $795.00 in the cheapest copies. The 1905 rewrite is over $300.00 and his 1917-1918 WWI edition is hard to get and always over $100.00. Even the last of his books in 1932 with other authors is now over $80.00 for a decent copy!

Some of the best books that used to be cheap and plentiful are now either priced very high or gone all-together. I wonder how many on this list contributed to that...... If this is the case, then Great! If not, then a lot of you are missing out on some of the best written, older data sources written in the classic style by the best physics authors in history.

There is also that element of ecclectic "Scientific used book stores" (read high prices) snapping up the more desirable on-line copies being sold for a few bucks by mom and pop, vest pocket, book dealers and reselling them at 10 to 20 times the original price.

I think that these old, formerly useless, shelf clutter books which sold for only a few dollars a few years ago have "been discovered". What was once a plague is now seen as hot revenue generators.

Take advantage of what is left. Check out the old posts here for key titles.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

ajmoir
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'Radioactivity' available OnLine

Post by ajmoir » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:14 pm

Radioactivity 1904

Radioactivity 1905

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Richard Hull
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Re: 'Radioactivity' available OnLine

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:44 pm

The preface to the 1905 edition is interesting in that Rutherford apologizes to his readers who bought the 1904 edition for producing another edition so fast, making the first one obsolete. He notes that a lot has happen in the last year or so related to radioactivity.

He was right, of course and a lot more was to come. The whole issue of this totally "new physics" would not calm down until the mid twenties though much ground work would be completed in the period up to world war I, (1914).

I have read most all the books and many of the papers by the greats during this period. Rutherford, Curie, Soddy, Fajans, Cameron and others. I remain stunned that so much was discovered with so crude a group of insturments. It showed pure skill and experimental genius abounded at a time when it was needed the most.

Equally amazing was the fact that only 47 years spanned the period from man having no knowledge of the atom, whatsoever to creating the first nuclear reactor and ultimately, unleashing the internal power of the atomic nucleus destroying 2 cities and, about 250,000 lives, ending the worst war in human history.

Classic, tedious, laboratory analyitical chemistry probably hit its peak and reached its limits during the early 1900's. The search by the best chemists of the period in opening up the study of the atom proved this. Microgram mechanical balances became the order of the day and long and tedious separations showed a skill not exhibited today in purely chemical based analysis and reductions. A thousand modern instrumentalities have reduced complex analysis to "drop in a sample - press a button- pick up the print out", world.

It is a different world in many ways.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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