Session U20: History of Physics; General Physics

8:00 AM–10:48 AM, Thursday, March 8, 2007
Colorado Convention Center Room: 105

Sponsoring Unit: FHP
Chair: Catherine Westfall, Argonne National Laboratory

Abstract ID: BAPS.2007.MAR.U20.2

Abstract: U20.00002 : The English Revision of The Blegdamsvej Faust

8:24 AM–8:48 AM

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  Karen Keck
    (Net Advance of Physics)

At the 1932 meeting of quantum physicists at Niels Bohr's Copenhagen Institute, participants staged an updated version of Goethe's Faust with Pauli tempting Ehrenfest to accept a chargeless, massless particle, then called the neutron. The most widely read translation of the anonymous Faust: Eine Historie appears in George Gamow's Thirty Years that Shook Physics; his second wife, Barbara, translated the text. Her work masterfully communicates the parallels between Goethe's original and the anonymous parody, but it also rearranges and adds to the parody to strengthen those similarities and to reflect George Gamow's views. The changes emphasize the international and cooperative aspects of physics.

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