Get Your Free Audiobook

After 30 days, Audible is ₹199/mo. Cancel anytime.

OR

Publisher's Summary

Enrico Fermi is unquestionably among the greats of the world's physicists, the most famous Italian scientist since Galileo. Called "the Pope" by his peers, he was regarded as infallible in his instincts and research. His discoveries changed our world; they led to weapons of mass destruction and conversely to life-saving medical interventions. This unassuming man struggled with issues relevant today, such as the threat of nuclear annihilation and the relationship of science to politics. Fleeing Fascism and anti-Semitism, Fermi became a leading figure in America's most secret project: building the atomic bomb.

The last physicist who mastered all branches of the discipline, Fermi was a rare mixture of theorist and experimentalist. His rich legacy encompasses key advances in fields as diverse as cosmic rays, nuclear technology, and early computers. In their revealing book, The Pope of Physics, Gino Segrè and Bettina Hoerlin bring this scientific visionary to life. An examination of the human dramas that touched Fermi's life as well as a thrilling history of scientific innovation in the 20th century, this is the comprehensive biography that Fermi deserves.

©2016 Gino Segrè and Bettina Hoerlin (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Segrè and Hoerlin draw an engaging portrait of a man with boundless curiosity who delighted in his work; fans of pop science and history will thoroughly enjoy this entertaining and accessible biography of a scientist who deserves to be better understood." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Pope of Physics

Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rubio
  • 28-02-17

Excellent, but...

Seriously lacking in covering the Manhattan project. Otherwise fills a definite gap in literature about the birth of modern physics.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Javamon86
  • 17-01-18

Not good

Just another book about the bomb. Not really focused on Fermi or, as I had hoped, his contributions to science. The book is read by someone who has practiced their gravel voice to a level of perfection bound to grate on the most forgiving ears. I have returned the book because it is crap and will always avoid the narrator regardless my interest in further books he may have read.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Philomath
  • 20-02-17

A fascinating biography of a great Physicist

The extraordinary life of Enrico Fermi like many great scientist escaping WWII is only surpassed by Fermi the great scientist.

One of the few Physicist who was both an experimentalist and a theorist and could very well be considered the brains of the Manhattan Project.

When the likes of Paul Dirac, Richard Feynman, and John Wheeler look up to someone, one must wonder who and how such a person lived his life.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • 12-03-17

Engaging Portrait of Fermi

This is a biography of Enrico Fermi (1901- 1954). He is Italy’s greatest scientist since Galileo. Fermi was called Pope by his peers. Fermi’s discoveries covered a broad range from semiconductors, transistors to MRI’s, nuclear reactors to the atomic bomb. He won the Nobel Prize in 1938 in physics for his work on artificial radioactivity produced by neutrons. Winning this award allowed the Fermi family to go to Stockholm, Sweden and from there they escaped to the United States. They fled Italy and its fascism and anti-Semitism just prior to World War II. Fermi’s wife was Jewish. They had two children. Fermi became a professor at Columbia University in New York City, then the University of Chicago and also worked on the Manhattan project.

The book is well written and meticulously researched. Segre and Hoerlin do a great job of bringing Fermi to life in an easily readable fashion. Fermi was one of the greats in the field of physics at a time of many great men such as Lawrence, Oppenheimer and Einstein. I was most interested in the descriptions of life in Italy from 1900 to 1939. The authors did an excellent job in bringing these years to life.

The book is about ten and half hours long. Tim Campbell does a good job narratoring the book. Campbell is a voice over artist and audiobook narrator.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mark Morris
  • 13-08-18

Too much useless detail, not enough physics

For me, this book had too much detail about trivial stuffer fluff and not enough detail about physics. I think the authors were too closely associated with Fermi, and especially his spouse, Laura.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 23-05-17

Beautiful!

I just loved this audiobook. Very interesting, both the science part and the story of the Popes life. Highly recomend it.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • julio mendez
  • 24-06-17

The man behind the myth.

This was a great read; fusing Fermi's personal turmoils, world politics and the events that created the nuclear age, all connected through the Pope's resolute and steady composition.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • chemprof
  • 23-04-17

nice bipgraphy, some good physics!

really enjpyed it, got to know the great physicist, appreciate his role in neutron discovery, and neitrino!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Z
  • 14-06-20

6 Stars Across the board!

Gino Segrè's and Bettina Hoerlin's brilliant work is a highly entertaining, deeply engaging biographical tour de force of Fermi's life and his underappreciated contributions to the birth of modern science. Enrico - a very uniquely gifted mathematician and physicist - is brought to life in in the book's methodical immediacy. The cast of famous characters of physics at the turn of the 20th Century, of the atomic age and of the birth of modern science is put into a richer context. For me, the entire Los Alamos project now has a completely different historical and scientific dimension. It is no longer Oppenheimer and Einstein! I wanted to give this work a 6 out of 5 stars! But that choice is not available, and so I give it here.
6 huge stars!
Enrico Fermi was indeed The Pope of the atomic age and must be appreciated as much as over-worshipped mostly men of physics . In the informative 42 chapters that cover Enrico's childhood through his serene death, this magisterial biography and survey of the true history of and creation of the atomic age, left me wanting to listen/read even more.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vix
  • 01-05-20

Intelligence, curiosity, determination on display

Fascinating amalgam of Fermi's personal and scientific worlds. Impressive Mrs. Laura Fermi! Coversational narration. Worthwhile!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Hareth
  • 23-10-18

Fascinating Character

An interesting book, certainly in detailing the intellectual development of the young physicist. Learning about his experimental and theoretical achievements, as well as his follies, gave me a great insight into the development of this titan of the field. It does however, deal with his personal growth too, even if in a manner I found forced at times especially when dealing with early childhood. Overall I found it a fascinating read and learned a huge amount from it, definitely will recommend it to friends.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jack M.
  • 11-05-20

a fascinating life well told

loved this book. the characters it paints. the great achievements given a rich back story.