Lot 405: Nevill Francis Mott

RR Auction

RR Auction

2015-10-29 11:33:50

Lot 405: English physicist (1905-1996) who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1977 for his work on the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems, especially amorphous semiconductors. Interesting autograph manuscript signed as the reviewer, seven pages, 8.25 x 11.75, no date but circa 1985. A draft manuscript of his review for the book Inner Exile: Recollections of a Life with Werner Heisenberg by Elizabeth Heisenberg, signed within the heading, "Reviewed by Sir Nevill Mott, Emeritus Cavendish Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge." In part: "Her husband, as one of the few outstanding physicists who remained in Germany throughout Hitler's regime has been the subject of much controversy. People ask, why did he stay, did he want to make an atom bomb for Hitler, did he know how to do it? Elizabeth Heisenberg tells a moving story. In every page comes through the horror of life under the Nazis and the utter wickedness of the regime. Her husband decided to stay in 1933...Heisenberg's experience shows, sadly, that life is all too often the choice between two evils, in his care to abandon the country he loved or to collaborate, to some extent, with evil. For the story of inner conflict the book could well be read outside the physics community." The seventh page is a brief autobiography penned by Mott, who notes that he "met Heisenberg first in 1928 in Niels Bohr's Institute." Also includes a brief ALS by Mott transmitting the manuscript and the original June 1985 letter to him from Physics Today requesting that he review the book. In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope addressed in his own hand. RR Auction's Fine Autographs & Artifacts Friday, 23rd October 2015 Estimate: $400-600
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