Forks in the Road: A Life in Physics (Paperback)
Stanley Deser is a preeminent theoretical physicist who made monumental contributions to general relativity, quantum field theory and high energy physics; he is a co-creator of supergravity. This is his personal story, intended for a broad, scientifically curious audience, with emphasis on the historic figures that defined the modern aspects of the field.Beginning with an account of his early life in Europe during the fateful period leading up to WW2, it continues with his family's dramatic escape from the Nazis through their arrival to the US. His education at public institutions including Brooklyn College nurtured his love of physics from an early age. He earned his PhD at Harvard and spent fruitful postdoc years at the Institute for Advanced Study and the Niels Bohr Institute, where he met many of the luminaries of the field. Then followed a long career at Brandeis University and many visits to foreign institutions.His work earned him many awards and led to exotic experiences detailed in the later chapters. The appendices contain semi-technical descriptions of some essential physics, as well as a more general commentary about the role of physics and physicists in understanding the universe.