This is a welcome reissue, with a new Preface, of John S. Rigden’s stellar biography of I. I. Rabi, one of the most influential physicists of the twentieth century. Rabi’s discovery of the magnetic resonance method won him the Nobel Prize in 1944 and stimulated research leading to, among other things, refinements in quantum electrodynamics, refined molecular beam methods, radio astronomy with the hydrogen 21-cm line, atomic clocks, and solid state masers.
John Rigden’s biography of Isidor Rabi, the American physicist and Nobel Prize–winner—for the development of nuclear magnetic resonance—and eventually ‘statesman’ of science, has been reissued in paperback. Rabi’s life was remarkable, full of incident, vision and action, including war, hot and cold. The biography is a masterpiece, rich in anecdote and never losing the narrative drive.
John S. Rigden is Adjunct Professor of Physics, Washington University in St. Louis.