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Out of the Shadows
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  • Page extent: 498 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.94 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 530.082
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: n/a
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Women physicists
    • Physics--History--20th century

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521821971 | ISBN-10: 0521821975)

Why are there so few prominent female physicists? Traditionally women have faced barriers in higher education, denying them access to higher learning and scientific laboratories. Today many of these barriers have been breached, but the female pioneers who overcame discrimination and became major players in their fields remain largely in the shadows. Their names deserve to be known and the importance of their work, achievements and contributions to science warrant recognition. Originally published in 2006, Out of the Shadows provides an accurate and authoritative description of the women who made original and important contributions to physics in the twentieth century, documenting their major discoveries and putting their work into its historical context. Each chapter concentrates on a different woman, and is written by a physicist with considerable experience in their field. The book is an ideal reference for anyone with an interest in science and social history.

• Describes in accurate and reliable detail the original and important contributions of twentieth-century women to physics (1876–1976) • Chapter authors are distinguished physicists in a field related to their subject's work, chapters contain biographies, further reading, and cite original papers • Describes the gender discrimination endemic in scientific societies in the early twentieth century


Foreword Freeman J. Dyson; Introduction Nina Byers; 1. Hertha Aryton 1854–1923 Joan Mason; 2. Margaret Maltby 1860–1944 Peggy Kidwell; 3. Agnes Pockels 1862–1935 Gary A. Williams; 4. Marie Curie 1867–1934 A. Pais; 5. Henrietta Leavitt 1868–1921 Jean L. Turner; 6. Harriet Brooks 1876–1933 C. W. Wong; 7. Lise Meitner 1878-1968 Ruth Lewin Sime; 8. Emmy Noether 1882–1935 Nina Byers; 9. Inge Lehmann 1888–1993 Bruce A. Bolt; 10. Marietta Blau 1894–1970 Leopold Halpern and Maurice M. Shapiro; 11. Hertha Sponer 1895–1968 Helmut Rechenberg; 12. Irene Joliot-Curie 1897–1956 Hélène Langevin-Joliot and Pierre Radvanyi; 13. Katherine Burr Blodgett 1898–1979 Gary A. Williams; 14. Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin 1900–1979 Vera C. Rubin; 15. Mary Cartwright 1900–1998 Freeman J. Dyson; 16. Bertha Jeffreys 1903–1999 Ruth M. Williams; 17. Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale1903–1971 Judith Milledge; 18. Maria Goeppert Mayer 1906–1972 Steven A. Moszkowski; 19. Helen Megaw 1907–2002 A. Michael Glazer and Christine Kelsey; 20. Yvette Cauchois 1908–1999 Christiane Bonnelle; 21. Marguerite Perey 1909–1975 Jean-Pierre Adloff and George B. Kauffman; 22. Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin 1910–1994 Jenny P. Glusker; 23. Gertrude Scharff Goldhaber 1911–1998 Alfred Scharff Goldhaber; 24. Chien Shiung Wu 1912–1997 Noemie Bencze-Koller; 25. Margaret E. Burbidge 1919 Virginia Trimble; 26. Phyllis Freier 1921–1992 Cecil J. Waddington; 27. Rosalyn S. Yalow 1921 M. S. Dresselhaus and F. A. Stahl; 28. Esther Conwell 1922 Lewis Rothberg; 29. Cecile Dewitt-Morette 1922 Bryce DeWitt; 30. Yvonne Choquet-Bruhat 1923 James W. York Jr.; 31. Vera Rubin 1928 Robert J. Rubin; 32. Mildred S. Dresselhaus 1930 G. Dresselhaus and F. A. Stahl; 33. Myriam Sarachik 1933 Jonathan R. Friedman; 34. Juliet Lee-Franzini 1933 Paolo Franzini; 35. Helen T. Edwards 1936 John Peoples; 36. Mary K. Gaillard 1939 Andreszej Buras; 37. Renata Kallosh 1943 Andrei Linde and Michael Gutperle; 38. Jocelyn Bell Burnell 1943 Ferdinand V. Coroniti and Gary A. Williams; 39. Gail G. Hanson 1947 David G. Cassel; 40. San Lan Wu David B. Cline.


Review of the hardback: 'As this inspiring gallery of heroines makes plain, there's no such thing as female science - just female scientists, including some very great ones. Their achievements span a vast range of mathematics, physics, and astronomy. In Out of the Shadows, experts lucidly explain what they did, and the lives they led. I was mesmerized, and edified.' Frank Wilcze, Nobel Prize in Physics 2004, Herman Feshbach, Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Review of the hardback: 'This book fills a vacuum in the history of physics. For the first time we have in one place clear accounts of careers and contributions to physics of 40 distinguished women from a variety of fields. In particular, the authors are informed insiders with intimate knowledge of their fields who often provide fresh information about their subjects. Let us hope that this book will inspire physicists to include these women in their lectures and textbooks so that no one will ever again badger women students with taunts like 'What's a nice girl like you doing in Physics 55?'' Margaret W. Rossite, MacArthur Prize Fellow 1989–1994, Marie Underhill Knoll Professor of the History of Science, Cornell University

Review of the hardback: 'Out of the Shadows gives us fascinating accounts of some of the ground-breaking achievements of women physicists and astronomers, many of whom have never received the recognition they truly deserve. It is a much-needed book. In it, a reader can learn, for example, about how Henrietta Swan Leavitt provided the first method of measuring inter-galactic distances, and how Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, in studies of spectra from stars, discovered that most of the luminous matter in the universe consists of hydrogen and helium. Both of these were advances crucial to the development of astrophysics and modern cosmology. This wonderful book beautifully illustrates that scientific talent has absolutely nothing to do with gender.' Jerome I. Friedman, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1990, Institute Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Review of the hardback: 'A celebration of 40 women who made lasting contributions to physics … Strong role models for aspiring young physicists, both male and female.' Nature Physics


Freeman J. Dyson, Nina Byers, Joan Mason, Peggy Kidwell, Gary A. Williams, A. Pais, Jean L. Turner, C. W. Wong, Ruth Lewin Sime, Bruce A. Bolt, Leopold Halpern, Maurice M. Shapiro, Helmut Rechenberg, Hélène Langevin-Joliot, Pierre Radvanyi, Vera C. Rubin, Freeman J. Dyson, Ruth M. Williams, Judith Milledge, Steven A. Moszkowski, A. Michael Glazer, Christine Kelsey, Christiane Bonnelle, Jean-Pierre Adloff, George B. Kauffman, Jenny P. Glusker, Alfred Scharff Goldhaber, Noemie Bencze-Koller, Virginia Trimble, Cecil J. Waddington, M. S. Dresselhaus, F. A. Stahl, Lewis Rothberg, Bryce DeWitt, James W. York Jr., Robert J. Rubin, G. Dresselhaus, F. A. Stahl, Jonathan R. Friedman, Paolo Franzini, John Peoples, Andreszej Buras, Andrei Linde, Michael Gutperle, Ferdinand V. Coroniti, David G. Cassel, David B. Cline

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