Item description for Julian Schwinger: The Physicist, the Teacher, and the Man by Y. Jack Ng...
In the post-quantum-mechanics era, few physicists, if any, have matched Julian Schwinger in contributions to and influence on the development of physics. A deep and provocative thinker, Schwinger left his indelible mark on all areas of theoretical physics; an eloquent lecturer and immensely successful mentor, he was gentle, intensely private, and known for being "modest about everything except his physics". This book is a collection of talks in memory of him by some of his contemporaries and his former students: A Klein, F Dyson, B DeWitt, W Kohn, D Saxon, P C Martin, K Johnson, S Deser, R Finkelstein, Y J Ng, H Feshbach, L Brown, S Glashow, K A Milton, and C N Yang. From it, one can get a glimpse of Julian Schwinger, the physicist, the teacher, and the man. Altogether, this book is a must for all physicists, physics students, and others who are interested in great legends. --This text refers to the paperback edition! of this title
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Studio: World Scientific Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.7" Width: 6.6" Height: 0.3" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Publisher World Scientific Publishing Company
ISBN 9810225318 ISBN13 9789810225315
Reviews - What do customers think about Julian Schwinger: The Physicist, the Teacher, and the Man?
The Best On Schwinger-- But Only 2/3 of that Promised Sep 22, 2003
For those interested in History of Science, Quantum Mechanics or Julian Schwinger, this is a great book-- at least from the science perspective.
This volume has essays by many of the contemporaries and students of Schwinger. In them, they talk a lot about his science, and how this has influenced various areas of physics. In that the book is quite valuable. Thus, Schwinger the Physicist.
They also talk a great deal about how great a lecturer he was, and even discuss his lecturing style-- which I found quite interesting. I even found myself making a couple of mental notes for when I lecture. Thus, Schwinger the Teacher.
However, after reading many of these essays, I still could not get a really good feel of what Schwinger the Man was like. There were several anecdotes by some of his students of the sort: "In my five years of graduate school, Schwinger invited me to his house for dinner once. The evening was spent pleasantly." Or: "One time when I went to office hours, Schwinger asked me a question, and I explained why that could not be so. He said "Oh yes! How stupid of me!" This was the only time I heard him admit he was wrong." Or: "Schwinger enjoyed history, but not music." Or: "One time, after he had bought a new car, he took me driving. Usually restrained, on this day he showed reckless abandon." (paraphrasing these)
The feeling I got after reading these essays was that either: (1) Schwinger was such a private man, that no one really got to know him very well or (2) Physicists do not have a good idea what an adequate description of a man is, other than describing his science--and that these anecdotes encompass what they feel is an adequate representation of the type of man he was.
Personally, I would have liked to hear more about Schwinger the NON-physicist. For example, how did he relate to his children? What about when his mother or father died? How about his relationship with his wife?
Who's to say, though? These are just my thoughts--- and I haven't won a Nobel Prize!
As an added bonus, there is a delightful transcript of a lecture Schwinger gave the year before he died in 1993, on George Green and physics.
This is still worth a look, if you are interested in this sort of thing.