Search results for: building-the-h-bomb-a-personal-history

Building the H Bomb

Author : Kenneth W Ford
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IN THE NEWS Podcast — Building the H Bomb: A Personal History Hosted by Milt Rosenberg (1590 WCGO), 25 June 2015 Building the H-Bomb: The Big Idea APS News, June 2015 (Volume 24, Number 6) Behind the Making of a Super Bomb The Washington Post, 22 May 2015 Hydrogen Bomb Physicist's Book Runs Afoul of Energy Department The New York Times, 23 March 2015 More In this engaging scientific memoir, Kenneth Ford recounts the time when, in his mid-twenties, he was a member of the team that designed and built the first hydrogen bomb. He worked with — and relaxed with — scientific giants of that time such as Edward Teller, Enrico Fermi, Stan Ulam, John von Neumann, and John Wheeler, and here offers illuminating insights into the personalities, the strengths, and the quirks of these men. Well known for his ability to explain physics to nonspecialists, Ford also brings to life the physics of fission and fusion and provides a brief history of nuclear science from the discovery of radioactivity in 1896 to the ten-megaton explosion of “Mike” that obliterated a Pacific Island in 1952. Ford worked at both Los Alamos and Princeton's Project Matterhorn, and brings out Matterhorn's major, but previously unheralded contribution to the development of the H bomb. Outside the lab, he drove a battered Chevrolet around New Mexico, a bantam motorcycle across the country, and a British roadster around New Jersey. Part of the charm of Ford's book is the way in which he leavens his well-researched descriptions of the scientific work with brief tales of his life away from weapons. Contents:The Big IdeaThe ProtagonistsThe ChoiceThe Scientists, the Officials, and the PresidentNuclear EnergySome PhysicsGoing WestA New WorldThe Classical SuperCalculating and TestingConstructing MatterhornAcademia CowersNew Mexico, New York, and New JerseyThe Garwin DesignClimbing MatterhornMore Than a Boy Readership: A memoir for general readership in the history of science. Key Features:It contains real physics, clearly presented for non-specialistsCombining historical scholarship and his own recollections, the author offers important insights into the people and the work that led to the first H bombPersonal anecdotes enliven the bookKeywords:Nuclear Weapons;Atomic Weapons;H Bomb;Thermonuclear Weapons;Nuclear Physics;Nuclear History;Thermonuclear History;Los Alamos;Edward Teller;Stanislav Ulam;John Wheeler;Project MatterhornReviews: “It was a great treat to read a book that's well-written, informative, and gets the science right. It is these personal recollections and descriptions; the fact that it is a personal and first-hand account of a unique time in history and a remarkable scientific and technical achievement that made this book so enthralling. This is an engaging account of a young scientist involved in a remarkable project.” P Andrew Karam The Ohio State University “Ford's book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of the H bomb and its role in the Cold War, and in how that work affected the life and career of an individual involved.” Physics Today "Personal memories are the book's greatest strength. Ford doesn't glorify, or apologize for, his work on the H-bomb. He simply tells it as it was. As a result, this is an engagingly human glimpse into the world of physics in the US in the early 1950s." Physics World

Nuclear Choices for the Twenty First Century

Author : Richard Wolfson
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"Citizen's guide to making informed choices about nuclear technologies, energy, and weapons"--

Super Bomb

Author : Ken Young
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Super Bomb unveils the story of the events leading up to President Harry S. Truman's 1950 decision to develop a "super," or hydrogen, bomb. That fateful decision and its immediate consequences are detailed in a diverse and complete account built on newly released archives and previously hidden contemporaneous interviews with more than sixty political, military, and scientific figures who were involved in the decision. Ken Young and Warner R. Schilling present the expectations, hopes, and fears of the key individuals who lobbied for and against developing the H-bomb. They portray the conflicts that arose over the H-bomb as rooted in the distinct interests of the Atomic Energy Commission, the Los Alamos laboratory, the Pentagon and State Department, the Congress, and the White House. But as they clearly show, once Truman made his decision in 1950, resistance to the H-bomb opportunistically shifted to new debates about the development of tactical nuclear weapons, continental air defense, and other aspects of nuclear weapons policy. What Super Bomb reveals is that in many ways the H-bomb struggle was a proxy battle over the morality and effectiveness of strategic bombardment and the role and doctrine of the US Strategic Air Command.

The 1950s Key Themes and Documents

Author : James S. Olson
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This volume serves as an invaluable guide to key political, social, and cultural concepts of the 1950s. • Provides rigorously and thematically tags of encyclopedic entries, period chronology, and primary documents for ease of reference • Serves as a valuable reference source for a key period of American History • Offers features that will help readers understand the period better, including sample Documents Based Essay Question and Top Tips for answering Documents Based Essay Questions

The Manhattan Project

Author : B. Cameron Reed
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The development of nuclear weapons by the Manhattan Project during World War II was one of the most dramatic scientific/technological episodes in human history. This book, prepared by a recognized expert on the Manhattan Project, offers a concise survey of the essential physics concepts underlying fission weapons. The text describes the energetics and timescales of fast-neutron chain reactions, why only certain isotopes of uranium and plutonium are suitable for use in fission weapons, how critical mass and bomb yield can be estimated, how the efficiency of nuclear weapons can be enhanced, how the fissile forms of uranium and plutonium were obtained, some of the design details of the 'Little Boy' and 'Fat Man' bombs, and some of the thermal, shock, and radiation effects of nuclear weapons. Calculation exercises are provided, and a Bibliography lists authoritative print and online sources of information for readers who wish to pursue more detailed study of this fascinating topic.

Chasing The Ghost Nobelist Fred Reines And The Neutrino

Author : Leonard A Cole
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A mixture of memoir and biography, Chasing the Ghost: Nobelist Fred Reines and the Neutrino tells a deeply human story that appeals both to scientists and non-scientists. Although the book relates to the important discovery of neutrinos, it is more intimately about Fred Reines than the technical details of neutrino physics. Narrated in a fashion to interest and excite the reader, the science presented here is accessible to a broad audience. Coursing through Reines' life, his various challenges and encounters, the book reveals constants of his persona. Reines displayed a sustained consistency as a respected leader, admired by students and colleagues as a fount of big ideas and ambition. A continuing source of inspiration and motivation to others, his most basic consistency was his passion for science. The quest for knowledge about the wondrous universe is a profoundly human endeavor. Fred Reines' life and his unremitting scientific curiosity are emblematic of that truth.'This book is a most welcome account about Frederick Reines and his great contributions to neutrino physics and astrophysics. The methods he designed in the 1950s to discover neutrinos in nuclear reactor experiments are still being used. His later work included the detection of atmospheric neutrinos which was a forerunner to the discovery of neutrino oscillations, the ability of neutrinos to change from one type to another. This finding was a significant step to other experiments that aim to answer profound questions about the nature of the universe including why it is composed of matter.'Takaaki KajitaNobel Laureate in PhysicsNeutrino Researcher, University of Tokyo 'Cole has provided a compelling personal and scientific account of a remarkable pioneer in Neutrino Physics.'Arthur B McDonaldNobel Laureate in PhysicsDirector of the Sudbury Neutrino ObservatoryProfessor, Queen's University, Ontario, Canada

Restricted Data

Author : Alex Wellerstein
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"Nuclear weapons, since their conception, have been the subject of secrecy. In the months after the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the American scientific establishment, the American government, and the American public all wrestled with what was called the "problem of secrecy," wondering not only whether secrecy was appropriate and effective as a means of controlling this new technology but also whether it was compatible with the country's core values. Out of a messy context of propaganda, confusion, spy scares, and the grave counsel of competing groups of scientists, what historian Alex Wellerstein calls a "new regime of secrecy" was put into place. It was unlike any other previous or since. Nuclear secrets were given their own unique legal designation in American law ("restricted data"), one that operates differently than all other forms of national security classification and exists to this day. Drawing on massive amounts of declassified files, including records released by the government for the first time at the author's request, Restricted Data is a narrative account of nuclear secrecy and the tensions and uncertainty that built as the Cold War continued. In the US, both science and democracy are pitted against nuclear secrecy, and this makes its history uniquely compelling and timely"--

Nuclear New Mexico

Author : M. Jimmie Killingsworth
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The mountains, valleys, forests, and sands of 1940s New Mexico served as a picturesque backdrop to the dawn of the Atomic Age, the land’s natural beauty coexisting with secretive, nuclear development. Today, nuclear tourists and nature tourists travel a shared path through the state as the history of the bomb is commemorated at official sites, often alongside monuments to natural preservation: Trinity Site, bordered by the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Preserve; Los Alamos, wedged between Valles Caldera and Bandelier National Monument; and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, across from Carlsbad Caverns. More than just a glimpse into the history of the atomic bomb and the tourism it spawned within New Mexico, Nuclear New Mexico also examines the impact of nuclear testing within the rise of environmentalism. As readers explore New Mexico’s landscape and its history, they will recognize familiar uncertainties and concerns about their own special places on the planet as societies adapt to rapidly altered landscapes.

Almighty

Author : Dan Zak
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**A Washington Post "Notable Nonfiction Book of 2016"** ON A TRANQUIL SUMMER NIGHT in July 2012, a trio of peace activists infiltrated the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Nicknamed the “Fort Knox of Uranium,” Y-12 was supposedly one of the most secure sites in the world, a bastion of warhead parts and hundreds of tons of highly enriched uranium—enough to power thousands of nuclear bombs. The three activists—a house painter, a Vietnam War veteran, and an 82-year-old Catholic nun—penetrated the complex’s exterior with alarming ease; their strongest tools were two pairs of bolt cutters and three hammers. Once inside, these pacifists hung protest banners, spray-painted biblical messages, and streaked the walls with human blood. Then they waited to be arrested. WITH THE BREAK-IN and their symbolic actions, the activists hoped to draw attention to a costly military-industrial complex that stockpiles deadly nukes. But they also triggered a political and legal firestorm of urgent and troubling questions. What if they had been terrorists? Why do the United States and Russia continue to possess enough nuclear weaponry to destroy the world several times over? IN ALMIGHTY, WASHINGTON POST REPORTER Dan Zak answers these questions by reexamining America’s love-hate relationship to the bomb, from the race to achieve atomic power before the Nazis did to the solemn 70th anniversary of Hiroshima. At a time of concern about proliferation in such nations as Iran and North Korea, the U.S. arsenal is plagued by its own security problems. This life-or-death quandary is unraveled in Zak’s eye-opening account, with a cast that includes the biophysicist who first educated the public on atomic energy, the prophet who predicted the creation of Oak Ridge, the generations of activists propelled into resistance by their faith, and the Washington bureaucrats and diplomats who are trying to keep the world safe. Part historical adventure, part courtroom drama, part moral thriller, Almighty reshapes the accepted narratives surrounding nuclear weapons and shows that our greatest modern-day threat remains a power we discovered long ago.

The Pope of Physics

Author : Gino Segrè
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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 comic rays, nuclear technology, and early computers. In their revealing book, The Pope of Physics, Gino Segré 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 twentieth century, this is the comprehensive biography that Fermi deserves.

Churchill s Bomb

Author : Graham Farmelo
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Churchill's Bomb - from the author of the Costa award-winning biography The Strangest Man - reveals a new aspect of Winston Churchill's life, so far completely neglected by historians: his relations with his nuclear scientists, and his management of Britain's policy on atomic weapons. Churchill was the only prominent politician to foresee the nuclear age and he played a leading role in the development of the Bomb during World War II. He became the first British Prime Minister with access to these weapons, and left office following desperate attempts during the Cold War to end the arms race. Graham Farmelo traces the beginnings of Churchill's association with nuclear weapons to his unlikely friendship with H. G. Wells, who coined the term 'atomic bombs'. In the 1930s, when Ernest Rutherford and his brilliant followers, such as Chadwick and Cockcroft, gave Britain the lead in nuclear research, Churchill wrote several widely read newspaper articles on the huge implications of their work. British physicists, in 1940, first showed that the Bomb was a practical possibility. But Churchill, closely advised by his favourite scientist, the controversial Frederick Lindemann, allowed leadership to pass to the US, where the Manhattan Project made the Bomb a terrible reality. British physicists played only a minor role in this vast enterprise, while Churchill ignored warnings from the scientist Niels Bohr that the Anglo-American policy would lead to a post-war arms race. After the war, the Americans reneged on personal agreements between Roosevelt and Churchill to share research. Clement Attlee, in a fateful decision, ordered the building of a British Bomb to maintain the country's place among the great powers. Churchill inherited it and ended his political career obsessed with the threat of thermonuclear war. Churchill's Bomb is an original and controversial book, full of political and scientific personalities and intrigues, which reveals a little-known side of Britain's great war-leader.

State Responses to Nuclear Proliferation

Author : Brian K. Chappell
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Contemporary fears of rogue state nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism pose unique challenges for the global community. This book offers a unique approach by examining why states that have the military capability to severely damage a proliferating state’s nuclear program instead choose to pursue coercive diplomacy. The author argues cognitive psychological influences, including the trauma derived from national tragedies like the September 11th attacks and the Holocaust, and a history of armed conflict increase the threat perceptions of foreign policy decision-makers when confronting a state perceived to be challenging the existing power structure by pursuing a nuclear weapon. The powerful state’s degree of perceived threat, combined with its national security policies, military power projection capabilities, and public support then influence whether it will take no action, use coercive diplomacy/sanctions, or employ military force to address the weaker state’s nuclear ambitions.

Trinity

Author : Frank Close
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'Everything about this story is astounding' Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times "Trinity" was the codename for the test explosion of the atomic bomb in New Mexico on 16 July 1945. Trinity is now also the extraordinary story of the bomb's metaphorical father, Rudolf Peierls; his intellectual son, the atomic spy, Klaus Fuchs, and the ghosts of the security services in Britain, the USA and USSR. Against the background of pre-war Nazi Germany, the Second World War and the following Cold War, the book traces how Peierls brought Fuchs into his family and his laboratory, only to be betrayed. It describes in unprecedented detail how Fuchs became a spy, his motivations and the information he passed to his Soviet contacts, both in the UK and after he went with Peierls to join the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos in 1944. Frank Close is himself a distinguished nuclear physicist: uniquely, the book explains the science as well as the spying. Fuchs returned to Britain in August 1946 still undetected and became central to the UK's independent effort to develop nuclear weapons. Close describes the febrile atmosphere at Harwell, the nuclear physics laboratory near Oxford, where many of the key players were quartered, and the charged relationships which developed there. He uncovers fresh evidence about the role of the crucial VENONA signals decryptions, and shows how, despite mistakes made by both MI5 and the FBI, the net gradually closed around Fuchs, building an intolerable pressure which finally cracked him. The Soviet Union exploded its first nuclear device in August 1949, far earlier than the US or UK expected. In 1951, the US Congressional Committee on Atomic Espionage concluded, 'Fuchs alone has influenced the safety of more people and accomplished greater damage than any other spy not only in the history of the United States, but in the history of nations'. This book is the most comprehensive account yet published of these events, and of the tragic figure at their centre.

X ray Microscopy

Author : Chris Jacobsen
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Written by a pioneer in the field, this text provides a complete introduction to X-ray microscopy, providing all of the technical background required to use, understand and even develop X-ray microscopes. Starting from the basics of X-ray physics and focusing optics, it goes on to cover imaging theory, tomography, chemical and elemental analysis, lensless imaging, computational methods, instrumentation, radiation damage, and cryomicroscopy, and includes a survey of recent scientific applications. Designed as a 'one-stop' text, it provides a unified notation, and shows how computational methods in different areas are linked with one another. Including numerous derivations, and illustrated with dozens of examples throughout, this is an essential text for academics and practitioners across engineering, the physical sciences and the life sciences who use X-ray microscopy to analyze their specimens, as well as those taking courses in X-ray microscopy.

Esquire

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The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life in America 4 volumes

Author : Randall M. Miller Ph.D.
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The course of daily life in the United States has been a product of tradition, environment, and circumstance. How did the Civil War alter the lives of women, both white and black, left alone on southern farms? How did the Great Depression change the lives of working class families in eastern cities? How did the discovery of gold in California transform the lives of native American, Hispanic, and white communities in western territories? Organized by time period as spelled out in the National Standards for U.S. History, these four volumes effectively analyze the diverse whole of American experience, examining the domestic, economic, intellectual, material, political, recreational, and religious life of the American people between 1763 and 2005. Working under the editorial direction of general editor Randall M. Miller, professor of history at St. Joseph's University, a group of expert volume editors carefully integrate material drawn from volumes in Greenwood's highly successful Daily Life Through History series with new material researched and written by themselves and other scholars. The four volumes cover the following periods: The War of Independence and Antebellum Expansion and Reform, 1763-1861, The Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Industrialization of America, 1861-1900, The Emergence of Modern America, World War I, and the Great Depression, 1900-1940 and Wartime, Postwar, and Contemporary America, 1940-Present. Each volume includes a selection of primary documents, a timeline of important events during the period, images illustrating the text, and extensive bibliography of further information resources—both print and electronic—and a detailed subject index.

A History of Technoscience

Author : David F. Channell
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Are science and technology independent of one another? Is technology dependent upon science, and if so, how is it dependent? Is science dependent upon technology, and if so how is it dependent? Or, are science and technology becoming so interdependent that the line dividing them has become totally erased? This book charts the history of technoscience from the late nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century and shows how the military–industrial–academic complex and big science combined to create new examples of technoscience in such areas as the nuclear arms race, the space race, the digital age, and the new worlds of nanotechnology and biotechnology.

Personal History

Author : Katharine Graham
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As seen in the new movie The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep, here is the captivating, inside story of the woman who piloted the Washington Post during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of American media. In this bestselling and widely acclaimed memoir, Katharine Graham, the woman who piloted the Washington Post through the scandals of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, tells her story - one that is extraordinary both for the events it encompasses and for the courage, candour and dignity of its telling. Here is the awkward child who grew up amid material wealth and emotional isolation; the young bride who watched her brilliant, charismatic husband - a confidant to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson - plunge into the mental illness that would culminate in his suicide. And here is the widow who shook off her grief and insecurity to take on a president and a pressman's union as she entered the profane boys' club of the newspaper business. As timely now as ever, Personal History is an exemplary record of our history and of the woman who played such a shaping role within them, discovering her own strength and sense of self as she confronted - and mastered - the personal and professional crises of her fascinating life.

Bulletin

Author : Kokusai Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo, Japan)
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America History and Life

Author :
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