In I Am A Physicist, Prof. Kitaigorodsky takes up a difficult but worthwhile task: that of introducing the young reader to the world of science and showing the world surrounding him through the eyes of a physicist.
We now come to another book by A. Kitaigorodsky, which is an autobiography of his.
The book describes the academic journey of the author through various institutes and the people he met there. The title can be misleading for some, as the book is meant not only for Physicists!! More appropriately it could have been I am A Scientist, as he describes the qualities of a good scientist and is very inspirational in his writing. But The book makes a wonderful reading, you must read it!
It was translated from the Russian by Vladamir Talmy and was published by Mir in 1971.
The purpose of the book is made clear in the foreword:
Professor Alexander Kitaigorodsky, Doctor of Science in physics and mathematics, is well known not only among his professional colleagues but to a wide circle of readers as well, for he is an ardent popularizer of science. In I Am A Physicist, Prof. Kitaigorodsky takes up a difficult but worthwhile task: that of introducing the young reader to the world of
science and showing the world surrounding him through the eyes of a physicist. He has succeeded remarkably in this endeavour. A scientist in love with his profession, he conveys the complexity of the problems faced by contemporary physics, the intensity of scientific quest and the excitement involved in it with flare and imagination.
lf there is one thing Alexander Kitaigorodsky does not lack it is versatility. The range of problems he raises is truly staggering. What is the measure of patience? ls telepathy possible?
Is money spent on scientific missions and conferences justified? What is the relative importance of the natural and applied sciences? What does the word “explanation” mean? What, if any, are the differences between man and machine? How has physical thinking changed since Aristotle’s time? How should a young man go about choosing a profession? And these are but some of the problems he touches upon. However, for all his diversity of approach, Prof. Kitaigorodsky has a definite singularity of purpose, which is to reveal to the reader the role of physics in natural science and the role of natural science in science and life.
Updated: 15 January 2019
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Chapter 1. Ways and Goals 9
Chapter 2. A Discoarse on the Use of Science 29
Chapter 3. We Are Not on an Uninhabited Island 37
Chapter 4. We Have a Colloquium Today 50
Chapter 5. The Doors to Science 64
Chapter 6. Some History 76
Chapter 7. The First Attack on Common Sense 91
Chapter 8. Capitulation 104
Chapter 9. The Present Day 117
Chapter 10. Chemistry 132
Chapter I1. Biology 144
Chapter I2. Psychology 155
Chapter 13. Physicists Engage in Science 169
Chapter 14. Broad Is Your Road. 184
Chapter 15. Physicists and Lyricists 201