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P L Kapitsa - Letters to Mother: The Early Cambridge Period
David Lockwood (Ed)

National Research Council of Canada 1989
ISBN 0-660-13099-8
120 pages. Soft Cover.
11 black/white photos.

Purchasing Details.
Out of Print. Some copys are available from the author, david.lockwood@nrc.ca

My Comments on This Book.

Whilst not strictly a book about Rutherford, it is a book of letters a young Russian physicist, Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, wrote home to his mother, from the time he left Russia in 1921 as part of a delegation to purchase scientific equipment for the research institutes which were being established in Petrograd, until 1926, when he first returned to Russia on a visit. In July of 1921 the delegation visited Cambridge and it was agreed that Peter Kapitsa would work with Rutherford for a year to gain research experience. (He stayed until 1934 at which time Russia refused to grant him an exit visa after a trip home.) So these letters give a fascinating view of Rutherford as seen by a  young Russian physicist.

David Lockwood is a New Zealand born and educated physicist who has spent his working life with the National Research Council in Ottawa, Canada. David did his first three degrees at the University of Canterbury, Rutherford's old university, (and was awarded a DSc from there in 2000). So Canadian scientists told David of Kapitsa's only visit to Canada in 1969, and of their other encounters with him.

In 1986 Novy Mir published these letters (in Russian).  David thought the letters deserved a wider audience. His Russian wife, Eugenia, translated them into English and David edited them. Any ... in the letters were in the original Russian publication.

David and Eugenia should be thanked for making these letters more widely available. They tell a fascinating story of a young man reporting home his first impressions of Ernest Rutherford and of working with Crocodile, Kapitza's pet name for Rutherford..

Errors Noted.

None noted

Contents

Illustrations

vii

Editorial Preface

ix

Translator's Note

xv

Foreword to the Russian Edition by Yuly Khariton

xvii

Kaptza's Letters to Mother 1921-1926

1

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Reviews

Physics Today,   August 1990,  p72

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