Cover: Hydrogen: The Essential Element, from Harvard University PressCover: Hydrogen in PAPERBACK


The Essential Element

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Product Details


$30.00 • £24.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674012523

Publication Date: 11/30/2003

Academic Trade

288 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

23 halftones, 13 line illustrations, 2 tables


  • Prologue
  • 1. In the Beginning: Hydrogen and the Big Bang
  • 2. Hydrogen and the Unity of Matter: The Prout Hypothesis
  • 3. Hydrogen and the Spectra of the Chemical Elements: A Swiss High School Teacher Finds a Pattern
  • 4. The Bohr Model of Hydrogen: A Paradigm for the Structure of Atoms
  • 5. Relativity Meets the Quantum in the Hydrogen Atom
  • 6. The Fine-Structure Constant: A Strange Number with Universal Significance
  • 7. The Birth of Quantum Mechanics: The Hydrogen Atom Answers the "Crucial Question"
  • 8. The Hydrogen Atom: Midwife to the Birth of Wave Mechanics
  • 9. The Hydrogen Atom and Dirac’s Theory of the Electron
  • 10. Hydrogen Guides Nuclear Physicists: The Discovery of Deuterium
  • 11. Hubris Meets Hydrogen: The Magnetic Moment of the Proton
  • 12. The Magnetic Resonance Method: The Origin of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • 13. New Nuclear Forces Required: The Discovery of the Quadrupole Moment of the Deuteron
  • 14. Magnetic Resonance in Bulk Matter (NMR)
  • 15. Hydrogen’s Challenge to Dirac Theory: Quantum Electrodynamics as the Prototype Physical Theory
  • 16. The Hydrogen Atom Portends an Anomaly with the Electron
  • 17. Hydrogen Maps the Galaxy
  • 18. The Hydrogen Maser: A High-Precision Clock
  • 19. The Rydberg Constant: A Fundamental Constant
  • 20. The Abundance of Deuterium: A Check on Big Bang Cosmology
  • 21. Antihydrogen: The First Antiatom
  • 22. The Bose-Einstein Condensate for Hydrogen
  • 23. Exotic Hydrogen-like Atoms: From Theory to Technology
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Credits
  • Index

Awards & Accolades

  • A Discover Magazine Best Science Book of 2002
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