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By D. Allan Bromley

During this "Cook’s Tour" of advancements in physics and realted fields, D. Allan Bromley, technological know-how consultant to President Bush in the course of 1989-1983 and previous president of the yankee actual Society, conveys a lot of the buzz and beauty that learn in physics generated within the twentieth century and asks what new issues are in shop within the subsequent century.

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A Century of Physics

During this "Cook’s Tour" of advancements in physics and realted fields, D. Allan Bromley, technological know-how consultant to President Bush in the course of 1989-1983 and prior president of the yankee actual Society, conveys a lot of the thrill and beauty that study in physics generated within the twentieth century and asks what new issues are in shop within the subsequent century.

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This, however, was not universally true. In the Bell Laboratories, for example, where some of the nation's most able physicists had come together in the late 1940s, the laboratory management insisted on a more targeted pattern of activity and established a number of specific challenges toward whose solution they expected the laboratory staff to direct their attention. One of these challenges was that of finding a replacement for the notoriously unreliable and short-lived vacuum tube. The answer, of course, was the transistor, invented in 1947.

S. National Academy of Sciences and, subsequently, President of the Rockefeller University. The Immediate Postwar Period The immediate postwar period was one of major excitement as graduates of the wartime projects began to focus on where their subsequent careers would lead. A catalyst in this process was a series of symposia and conferences that brought physicists together to exchange ideas. The Shelter Island Conference of 1947 was typical of these meetings (see Figure 37). So also were the series of meetings held at the Carnegie Institution in Washington (see Figure 37a).

Two of the most important developments of the century, quantum mechanics and relativity theory, had already been established by mid-century, and members of the scientific community had been waiting throughout the war years for a chance to apply them in peacetime research. In the 1930s, Felix Bloch recognized that as atoms were brought close together (as in solids), the discrete energy levels that characterized them when they were well-isolated in a gaseous phase spread, resulting in electron bands and, even more important, forbidden bands.

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