Science: Everybody's Secret

The first atomic bomb released almost as many atom books as neutrons. Few were any good. But a recent book, Explaining the Atom, by Professor Selig Hecht of Columbia University (Viking Press, $2.75) actually comes close to its claim of making "the atom and its energy comprehensible to the intelligent layman."

Dr. Hecht tells how the scientists discovered that atoms are made up of smaller particles, including the notorious neutron, which can slip into an atom's nucleus. Once Dr. Hecht has the reader aware of neutrons, he finds it easy to explain how some atoms can be disrupted by...

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