The Los Alamos Primer

The First Lectures on How to Build an Atomic Bomb, Updated with a New Introduction by Richard Rhodes
Author: Robert Serber
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 0520344170
Category: Science
Page: 176
View: 4026
More than seventy years ago, the world changed forever when American forces exploded the first atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, starting a massive firestorm that would kill some 80,000 enemy civilians. Three days later, the US exploded a second bomb over Nagasaki, killing another 40,000. Though the bombs did not end the war, they contributed urgently to the Japanese decision to surrender and demonstrated to the world the vast destructive power of a revolutionary new weapon. "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" originated in March 1943 when a group of young scientists, sequestered on a mesa near Santa Fe, attended a crash course in the new weapons technology. The lecturer was physicist Robert Serber, J. Robert Oppenheimer's protégé, and they learned that their job was to design and build the world's first atomic bombs. Notes on Serber's lecture, nicknamed the "Los Alamos Primer," were mimeographed and passed from hand to hand. They remained classified for decades after the war. Published for the first time in 1992, the Primer offers contemporary readers a better understanding of the origins of nuclear weapons. Serber's preface, an informal memoir, vividly conveys the mingled excitement, uncertainty, and intensity felt by the Manhattan Project scientists. Now, 75 years since the bombs shocked the world, an updated foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Richard Rhodes offers a brief history of the development of nuclear physics up to the day when Serber stood before his blackboard at Los Alamos. A seminal publication on a turning point in human history, The Los Alamos Primer reveals just how much was known and how terrifyingly much was unknown midway through the Manhattan Project. No other seminar anywhere has had greater historical consequences.

Particle Physics

A Los Alamos Primer
Author: Necia Grant Cooper,Geoffrey B. West,Senior Scientist Geoffrey B West
Publisher: CUP Archive
ISBN: 9780521347808
Category: Science
Page: 199
View: 8214
This book explains the emergence of a profoundly new understanding of the fundamental forces of Nature.

Critical Assembly

A Technical History of Los Alamos During the Oppenheimer Years, 1943-1945
Author: Lillian Hoddeson,Paul W. Henriksen,Roger A. Meade,Catherine L. Westfall
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521541176
Category: History
Page: 528
View: 1470
This 1993 book explores how the 'critical assembly' of scientists at Los Alamos created the first atomic bombs.

Heller als tausend Sonnen

Das Schicksal der Atomforscher
Author: Robert Jungk
Publisher: Rowohlt Verlag GmbH
ISBN: 3688100484
Category: Social Science
Page: 348
View: 4953
Dieser faszinierende Sachreport wendet sich an alle, die Auge in Auge mit der größten Gefahr des 20. Jahrhunderts leben. Er beschreibt die Geschichte der Atombombe als «eine Geschichte wirklicher Menschen» (C. F. Frhr. von Weizsäcker), die im Sommer 1939 noch in der Lage gewesen wären, den Bau von Atombomben zu verhindern und die Chance ungenutzt vorbeigehen ließen: sie zeigten sich der bedrohlichen neuen Erfindung moralisch und politisch nicht gewachsen. Jungk breitet ein überwältigendes Tatsachenmaterial aus, erschließt bislang unzugängliche Quellen und macht auf erregende Weise das Dilemma berühmter Wissenschaftler deutlich, die zwischen Forscherdrang und Gewissensqual schwanken. Was in den zwanziger Jahren als kollegiales Teamwork junger Wissenschaftler begonnen hatte, entwickelt sich zur Tragödie. Forscher, die sich ursprünglich allein dem wissenschaftlichen Fortschritt verpflichtet fühlten, sahen sich sehr bald in das Spannungsfeld machtpolitischer Auseinandersetzungen gerissen, und viele von ihnen begannen zu erkennen, daß sie, wie der amerikanische Atomphysiker Oppenheimer sich ausdrückt, «die Arbeit des Teufels» getan hatten. Trotz scharfer Angriffe fällt Jungk kein moralisches Verdammungsurteil. Er will sein Buch als Beitrag zu dem großen Gespräch verstanden wissen, «das vielleicht eine Zukunft ohne Furcht vorbereiten kann».

The Road from Los Alamos

Collected Essays of Hans A. Bethe
Author: Hans A. Bethe
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9780883187074
Category: Science
Page: 288
View: 5788
As the head of the theory group at Los Alamos, Hans A. Bethe played a

Inventing Los Alamos

The Growth of an Atomic Community
Author: Jon Hunner
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806148063
Category: History
Page: 304
View: 7512
A social history of New Mexico’s “Atomic City” Los Alamos, New Mexico, birthplace of the Atomic Age, is the community that revolutionized modern weaponry and science. An “instant city,” created in 1943, Los Alamos quickly grew to accommodate six thousand people—scientists and experts who came to work in the top-secret laboratories, others drawn by jobs in support industries, and the families. How these people, as a community, faced both the fevered rush to create an atomic bomb and the intensity of the subsequent cold-war era is the focus of Jon Hunner’s fascinating narrative history. Much has been written about scientific developments at Los Alamos, but until this book little has been said about the community that fostered them. Using government records and the personal accounts of early residents, Inventing Los Alamos, traces the evolution of the town during its first fifteen years as home to a national laboratory and documents the town’s creation, the lives of the families who lived there, and the impact of this small community on the Atomic Age.

The Nuclear Muse

Literature, Physics, and the First Atomic Bombs
Author: John Canaday
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
ISBN: 9780299168544
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 310
View: 6971
John Canaday analyzes a variety of texts produced by physicists before, during, and after the Second World War, including Niels Bohr's "The Quantum Postulate"; the Blegdamsvej Faust, a parody of Goethe's Faust that cast physicists as its principle characters; The Los Alamos Primer, the technical lectures used for training at Los Alamos; scientists' descriptions of their work and of the Trinity test; and Leo Szilard's post-war novella, The Voice of the Dolphins.

Bomb Scare

The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons
Author: Joseph Cirincione
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231509405
Category: Political Science
Page: 224
View: 7750
Since their inception, nuclear weapons have multiplied at an alarming rate, leaving everyone from policymakers to concerned citizens wondering what it will take to slow, stop, or even reverse their spread. With clarity and expertise, Joseph Cirincione presents an even-handed look at the history of nuclear proliferation and an optimistic vision of its future, providing a comprehensive survey of the wide range of critical perspectives. Cirincione begins with the first atomic discoveries of the 1930s and covers the history of their growth all the way to current crisis with Iran. He unravels the science, strategy, and politics that have fueled the development of nuclear stockpiles and increased the chance of a nuclear terrorist attack. He also explains why many nations choose not to pursue nuclear weapons and pulls from this the outlines of a solution to the world's proliferation problem: a balance of force and diplomacy, enforcement and engagement that yields a steady decrease in these deadly arsenals. Though nuclear weapons have not been used in war since August 1945, there is no guarantee this good fortune will continue. A unique blend of history, theory, and security analysis, Bomb Scare is an engaging text that not only supplies the general reader and student with a clear understanding of this issue but also provides a set of tools policymakers and scholars can use to prevent the cataclysmic consequences of another nuclear attack.

109 East Palace

Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos
Author: Jennet Conant
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416585427
Category: History
Page: 448
View: 8123
From the bestselling author of Tuxedo Park, the fascinating story of the 3,000 people who lived together in near confinement for more than two intense and conflicted years under J. Robert Oppenheimer and the world's best scientists to produce the Atomic Bomb and win World War II. They were told as little as possible. Their orders were to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and report for work at a classified Manhattan Project site, a location so covert it was known to them only by the mysterious address: 109 East Palace. There, behind a wrought-iron gate and narrow passageway just off the touristy old plaza, they were greeted by Dorothy McKibbin, an attractive widow who was the least likely person imaginable to run a front for a clandestine defense laboratory. They stepped across her threshold into a parallel universe--the desert hideaway where Robert Oppenheimer and a team of world-famous scientists raced to build the first atomic bomb before Germany and bring World War II to an end. Brilliant, handsome, extraordinarily charismatic, Oppenheimer based his unprecedented scientific enterprise in the high reaches of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, hoping that the land of enchantment would conceal and inspire their bold mission. Oppenheimer was as arrogant as he was inexperienced, and few believed the thirty-eight-year-old theoretical physicist would succeed. Jennet Conant captures all the exhilaration and drama of those perilous twenty-seven months at Los Alamos, a secret city cut off from the rest of society, ringed by barbed wire, where Oppenheimer and his young recruits lived as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government. With her dry humor and eye for detail, Conant chronicles the chaotic beginnings of Oppenheimer's by-the-seat-of-his-pants operation, where freshly minted secretaries and worldly scientists had to contend with living conditions straight out of pioneer days. Despite all the obstacles, Oppie managed to forge a vibrant community at Los Alamos through the sheer force of his personality. Dorothy, who fell for him at first sight, devoted herself to taking care of him and his crew and supported him through the terrifying preparations for the test explosion at Trinity and the harrowing aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Less than a decade later, Oppenheimer became the focus of suspicion during the McCarthy witch hunts. When he and James B. Conant, one of the top administrators of the Manhattan Project (and the author's grandfather), led the campaign against the hydrogen bomb, Oppenheimer's past left-wing sympathies were used against him, and he was found to be a security risk and stripped of his clearance. Though Dorothy tried to help clear his name, she saw the man she loved disgraced. In this riveting and deeply moving account, drawing on a wealth of research and interviews with close family and colleagues, Jennet Conant reveals an exceptionally gifted and enigmatic man who served his country at tremendous personal cost and whose singular achievement, and subsequent undoing, is at the root of our present nuclear predicament.


Die universalen Gesetze des Lebens von Organismen, Städten und Unternehmen
Author: Geoffrey West
Publisher: C.H.Beck
ISBN: 3406741924
Category: Science
Page: 478
View: 6811
"Dieses Buch erweitert Ihr Denken von drei auf vier Dimensionen." Nassim Nicolas Taleb, Autor von "Der schwarze Schwan" "Scale" ist ein großes Ideen-Buch, das uns neue Welten erschließt, ein intellektuelles Abenteuer, das bislang unverknüpfte Perspektiven und Wissensgebiete miteinander verbindet. Es zeigt, welche universalen Gesetzmäßigkeiten unserem biologischen und sozialen Leben zugrunde liegen, die uns alle auf so einfache wie tief reichende Weise miteinander verbinden. Wer wissen will, wie die Welt wirklich funktioniert, muss dieses Buch lesen. Am Anfang stand die Faszination von Altern und Sterblichkeit. Mit der Präzision des Physikers hat West die Frage, warum wir so lange leben, wie wir leben, und nicht länger, zu beantworten versucht. Das Ergebnis war erstaunlich: West entdeckte, dass trotz bestehender Unterschiede alle Säugetiere skalierte Versionen voneinander sind. Kennt man die Größe eines Säugetiers, so kann man vom täglichen Nahrungsverbrauch über die Dauer des Reifungsprozesses bis hin zur Lebensspanne alles herausbekommen, was man über das betreffende Tier wissen will. Seine für die Biologie bahnbrechende Forschung hat West auf andere Felder angewendet, insbesondere auf Städte und Unternehmen. In "Scale" schlägt er vor, einige der großen Probleme, mit denen wir ringen - von der rasanten Verstädterung, dem Bevölkerungswachstum bis zum Verständnis von Krebs sowie den Ursachen von Altern und Tod -, auf der Basis eines ganzheitlichen Ansatzes anzugehen. Nur so gelangen wir zu Erkenntnissen und Strategien, mit denen wir diese großen globalen Herausforderungen auch bewältigen können.

The Curve of Binding Energy

A Journey into the Awesome and Alarming World of Theodore B. Taylor
Author: John McPhee
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374708614
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 240
View: 5351
Theodore Taylor was one of the most brilliant engineers of the nuclear age, but in his later years he became concerned with the possibility of an individual being able to construct a weapon of mass destruction on their own. McPhee tours American nuclear institutions with Taylor and shows us how close we are to terrorist attacks employing homemade nuclear weaponry.

Brotherhood of the Bomb

The Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller
Author: Gregg Herken
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1466851554
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 464
View: 1376
The fascinating story of the men who founded the nuclear age, fully told for the first time The story of the twentieth century is largely the story of the power of science and technology. Within that story is the incredible tale of the human conflict between Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller-the scientists most responsible for the advent of weapons of mass destruction. How did science-and its practitioners-enlisted in the service of the state during the Second World War, become a slave to its patron during the Cold War? The story of these three men, builders of the bombs, is fundamentally about loyalty-to country, to science, and to each other-and about the wrenching choices that had to be made when these allegiances came into conflict. Gregg Herken gives us the behind-the-scenes account based upon a decade of research, interviews, and newly released Freedom of Information Act and Russian documents. Brotherhood of the Bomb is a vital slice of American history told authoritatively-and grippingly-for the first time.

Changing Light

A Novel
Author: Nora Gallagher
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0375424814
Category: Fiction
Page: 224
View: 6249
Nora Gallagher’s elegant debut novel is a love story set in Los Alamos in 1945, in the shadow of the creation of the first atomic bomb.During the last summer of World War II, in the beautiful high desert of New Mexico, a young painter, Eleanor Garrigue, discovers a delirious man lying by the river. She takes him in and cares for him, not knowing that he is Leo Kavan, a physicist who has fled Los Alamos after a deadly radiation accident. Eleanor herself has left New York to escape a stifling marriage and to renew her painting in the pure desert light. As the two reveal themselves to each other, their pasts and the present unfold in tandem, taking us from the heady New York art world to Einstein’s Berlin, from English bomb labs to the hidden city of Los Alamos. As their enemies close in, they find temporary solace together, connected and changed in unexpected ways by the brutal radiance of the war and their fierce love.

The Politics and Technology of Nuclear Proliferation

Author: Robert F. Mozley
Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 9780295802534
Category: Political Science
Page: 384
View: 8384
Politics and technology intersect in the international effort to prevent nuclear proliferation. Written for scientists, policy makers, journalists, students, and concerned citizens, The Politics and Technology of Nuclear Proliferation makes a highly complex subject understandable. This comprehensive overview provides information about both the basic technologies and the political realities. Methods of producing weapon materials�plutonium and highly enriched uranium�as well as their use in bombs are described in detail, as is the generally successful international effort to prevent the spread of the ability to make nuclear weapons. In explaining the problems the world will face if nuclear weapons become generally available, Mozley summarizes and reviews the methods used to prevent proliferation and describes the status of those nations involved in trade in nuclear materials. He places emphasis on the danger of attack by renegade nations or terrorist groups, particularly the possibility that weapon material might be stolen from the presently impoverished and unstable former Soviet Union.

The General and the Genius

Groves and Oppenheimer ? The Unlikely Partnership that Built the Atom Bomb
Author: James Kunetka
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1621573850
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 480
View: 6736
With a blinding flash in the New Mexico desert in the summer of 1945, the world was changed forever. The bomb that ushered in the atomic age was the product of one of history's most improbable partnerships. The General and the Genius reveals how two extraordinary men pulled off the greatest scientific feat of the twentieth century. Leslie Richard Groves of the Army Corps of Engineers, who had made his name by building the Pentagon in record time and under budget, was made overlord of the impossibly vast scientific enterprise known as the Manhattan Project. His mission: to beat the Nazis to the atomic bomb. So he turned to the nation's preeminent theoretical physicist, J. Robert Oppenheimer—the chain-smoking, martini-quaffing son of wealthy Jewish immigrants, whose background was riddled with communist associations—Groves's opposite in nearly every respect. In their three-year collaboration, the iron-willed general and the visionary scientist led a brilliant team in a secret mountaintop lab and built the fearsome weapons that ended the war but introduced the human race to unimaginable new terrors. And at the heart of this most momentous work of World War II is the story of two extraordinary men—the general and the genius.


The World's Bomb
Author: Andrew J. Rotter
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019157791X
Category: History
Page: 384
View: 8063
The US decision to drop an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 remains one of the most controversial events of the twentieth century. However, the controversy over the rights and wrongs of dropping the bomb has tended to obscure a number of fundamental and sobering truths about the development of this fearsome weapon. The principle of killing thousands of enemy civilians from the air was already well established by 1945 and had been practised on numerous occasions by both sides during the Second World War. Moreover, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was conceived and built by an international community of scientists, not just by the Americans. Other nations (including Japan and Germany) were also developing atomic bombs in the first half of the 1940s, albeit hapharzardly. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any combatant nation foregoing the use of the bomb during the war had it been able to obtain one. The international team of scientists organized by the Americans just got there first. As this fascinating new history shows, the bomb dropped by a US pilot that hot August morning in 1945 was in many ways the world's offspring, in both a technological and a moral sense. And it was the world that would have to face its consequences, strategically, diplomatically, and culturally, in the years ahead.

Nuclear Energy

Principles, Practices, and Prospects
Author: David Bodansky
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9780387269313
Category: Science
Page: 694
View: 7899
This second edition represents an extensive revision of the ?rst edition, - though the motivation for the book and the intended audiences, as described inthepreviouspreface,remainthesame. Theoveralllengthhasbeenincreased substantially, with revised or expanded discussions of a number of topics, - cluding Yucca Mountain repository plans, new reactor designs, health e?ects of radiation, costs of electricity, and dangers from terrorism and weapons p- liferation. The overall status of nuclear power has changed rather little over the past eight years. Nuclear reactor construction remains at a very low ebb in much of the world, with the exception of Asia, while nuclear power’s share of the electricity supply continues to be about 75% in France and 20% in the United States. However,therearesignsofaheightenedinterestinconsideringpossible nuclear growth. In the late 1990s, the U. S. Department of Energy began new programs to stimulate research and planning for future reactors, and many candidate designs are now contending—at least on paper—to be the next generation leaders. Outside the United States, the commercial development ofthePebbleBedModularReactorisbeingpursuedinSouthAfrica,aFrench- German consortium has won an order from Finlandfor the long-plannedEPR (European Pressurized Water Reactor), and new reactors have been built or planned in Asia. In an unanticipated positive development for nuclear energy, the capacity factor of U. S. reactors has increased dramatically in recent years, and most operating reactors now appear headed for 20-year license renewals.


A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit
Author: Tom Clancy
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1429520094
Category: History
Page: 352
View: 8400
An in-depth look at the United States Marine Corps-in the New York Times bestselling tradition of Submarine, Armored Cav, and Fighter Wing Only the best of the best can be Marines. And only Tom Clancy can tell their story--the fascinating real-life facts more compelling than any fiction. Clancy presents a unique insider's look at the most hallowed branch of the Armed Forces, and the men and women who serve on America's front lines. Marine includes: An interview with the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles "Chuck" Krulak The tools and technology of the Marine Expeditionary Unit The role of the Marines in the present and future world An in-depth look at recruitment and training Exclusive photographs, illustrations, and diagrams