This history of atomic and nuclear physics shows how technological advances have enabled physicists to probe the physical properties of nuclei, offering the reader a clear understanding of how theory is inextricably intertwined with the progress of technology.
Bernard Fernandez, a graduate from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, is a physicist from Saclay, France, a laboratory of the French Atomic Energy Commission. He performed experiments on nuclear structure using the Van de Graaff Tandem accelerator and later on the GANIL heavy ion accelerator located in Caen. From 1965 to 1967 he spent two years in the University of Washington in Seattle and in 1976-1977 a year at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. In 2008 the French edition of this book was awarded the Medaille Marc-Auguste Pictet by the Physics and Natural History Society of Geneva. Georges Ripka, a physicist from the same laboratory in Saclay, worked on nuclear theory, condensed matter and particle physics. In 1963 he spent a year in the University of Pittsburgh and a further two sabbatical years in the University of Princeton (1967) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1978). Since 1999 he has also worked in the European Center for Theoretical Physics in Trento, Italy. He is the author of several books, including Quantum Theory of Finite Systems (co-author with Jean Paul Blaizot), MIT Press, 1986 and Vivre Savant sous le communisme, Editions Belin, 2002. In 1995 he was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung prize.