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Encyclopedia > Edward Teller
Edward Teller

Edward Teller in 1958 as Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Born 15 January 1908(1908-01-15)
Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Died September 9, 2003 (aged 95)
Stanford, California
Residence U.S.
Nationality Hungarian
American
Institutions University of Göttingen
Bohr Institute
George Washington University
Manhattan Project
University of Chicago
UC Davis
UC Berkeley
Lawrence Livermore
Hoover Institution
Alma mater University of Karlsruhe
University of Leipzig
Academic advisor   Werner Heisenberg
Notable students   Chen Ning Yang
Lincoln Wolfenstein
Known for Jahn-Teller effect
Hydrogen bomb development
Religion Jewish

Edward Teller (original Hungarian name Teller Ede) (January 15, 1908September 9, 2003) was a Hungarian-born American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb," even though he did not care for the title.[1] Download high resolution version (598x613, 121 KB)Edward Teller, in 1958, as Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Image credit Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, original at http://www. ... Aerial view of the lab and surrounding area, facing NW. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory, managed and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), a limited liability consortium comprised of Bechtel National, the University of... is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... For other uses, see Budapest (disambiguation). ... Austria-Hungary, also known as the Dual monarchy (or: the k. ... is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Stanford is a census-designated place (CDP) located in Santa Clara County, California. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... For other uses of terms redirecting here, see US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation) Motto In God We Trust(since 1956) (From Many, One; Latin, traditional) Anthem The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City National language English (de facto)1 Demonym American... Image File history File links Flag_of_Hungary. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The Georg-August University of Göttingen (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, often called the Georgia Augusta) was founded in 1734 by George II, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, and opened in 1737. ... The Niels Bohr Institute The Niels Bohr Institute The Niels Bohr Institute is part of the Niels Bohr Institute for Astronomy, Physics and Geophysics of the University of Copenhagen. ... The George Washington University (GW), is a private, coeducational university located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The school was founded in 1821 as The Columbian College in the District of Columbia by Baptist ministers using funds bequeathed by George Washington. ... This article is about the World War II nuclear project. ... For other uses, see University of Chicago (disambiguation). ... The University of California, Davis, commonly known as UC Davis, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California, and was established as the University Farm in 1905. ... Sather tower (the Campanile) looking out over the San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpais. ... Aerial view of the lab and surrounding area, facing NW. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory, managed and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), a limited liability consortium comprised of Bechtel National, the University of... Hoover Tower at the Hoover Institution The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded by Herbert Hoover at Stanford University, his alma mater. ... The Universität Karlsruhe (TH) (also called Fridericiana / University of Karlsruhe) recently merged with Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe to form the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). ... The University of Leipzig (German Universität Leipzig), located in Leipzig in the Free State of Saxony (former Kingdom of Saxony), Germany, is one of the oldest universities in Europe. ... Werner Karl Heisenberg (December 5, 1901 – February 1, 1976) was a celebrated German physicist and Nobel laureate, one of the founders of quantum mechanics and acknowledged to be one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Zhen-Ning Franklin Yang (Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) (born 22 September[1], 1922) is a Chinese American physicist who worked on statistical mechanics and symmetry principles. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Lincoln Wolfenstein is an American particle physicist who studies the weak interaction. ... The Jahn-Teller effect, sometimes also known as Jahn-Teller distortion, describes the geometrical distortion of the electron cloud in a non-linear molecule under certain situations. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 lifted nuclear fallout some 18 km (60,000 feet) above the epicenter. ... is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Theoretical physics employs mathematical models and abstractions of physics in an attempt to explain experimental data taken of the natural world. ... Not to be confused with physician, a person who practices medicine. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 lifted nuclear fallout some 18 km (60,000 feet) above the epicenter. ...


Teller emigrated to the United States in the 1930s, and was an early member of the Manhattan Project charged with developing the first atomic bombs. During this time he made a serious push to develop the first fusion-based weapons as well, but these were deferred until after World War II. After his controversial testimony in the security clearance hearing of his former Los Alamos colleague Robert Oppenheimer, Teller became ostracized from much of the scientific community. He continued to find support from the U.S. government and military research establishment, particularly for his advocacy for nuclear energy development, a strong nuclear arsenal, and a vigorous nuclear testing program. He was a co-founder of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and was both its director and associate director for many years. This article is about the World War II nuclear project. ... The deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion reaction is considered the most promising for producing fusion power. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... For use by the United Nations, see Security Clearance (UN) A security clearance is a status granted to individuals allowing them access to classified information, i. ... Los Alamos National Laboratory, aerial view from 1995. ... J. Robert Oppenheimer[1] (April 22, 1904 – February 18, 1967) was an American theoretical physicist, best known for his role as the director of the Manhattan Project, the World War II effort to develop the first nuclear weapons, at the secret Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico. ... This article concerns the energy stored in the nuclei of atoms; for the use of nuclear fission as a power source, see Nuclear power. ... Preparation for an underground nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site in the 1980s. ... Aerial view of the lab and surrounding area, facing NW. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory, managed and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), a limited liability consortium comprised of Bechtel National, the University of...


In his later years he became especially known for his advocacy of controversial technological solutions to both military and civilian problems, including a plan to excavate an artificial harbor in Alaska using thermonuclear explosives. He was a vigorous advocate of Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, perhaps overselling the feasibility of the program. Over the course of his life, Teller was known both for his scientific ability and his difficult interpersonal relations and volatile personality, and is considered one of the inspirations for the character Dr. Strangelove in the 1964 movie of the same name. At the end of the 20th century, Thermonuclear has came to imply anything which has to do with fusion nuclear reactions which are triggered by particles of thermal energy. ... Reagan redirects here. ... The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983[1] to use ground-based and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. ... Strangelove redirects here. ...

Contents

Early life and education

Teller was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary to a Jewish family. He left Hungary in 1926 (partly due to the numerus clausus rule under Horthy's regime). The political climate and revolutions in Hungary during his youth instilled a lingering animosity for both Communism and Fascism in Teller.[2] When he was a young student, his leg was severed in a streetcar accident in Munich, requiring him to wear a prosthetic foot and leaving him with a life-long limp. Teller graduated in chemical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe and received his Ph.D. in physics under Werner Heisenberg at the University of Leipzig. Teller's Ph.D. dissertation dealt with one of the first accurate quantum mechanical treatments of the hydrogen molecular ion. In 1930 he befriended Russian physicists George Gamow and Lev Landau. Very important for Teller's scientific and philosophical development was his life-long close friendship with a Czech physicist George Placzek. It was Placzek who arranged for young Teller a summer stay in Rome with Enrico Fermi and oriented his scientific career to nuclear physics.[3] For other uses, see Budapest (disambiguation). ... Austria-Hungary, also known as the Dual monarchy (or: the k. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... Numerus Clausus (closed number in Latin) is one of many methods used to limit the number of students who may study at a university. ... Horthy redirects here. ... This article is about the form of society and political movement. ... Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers individual and other societal interests subordinate to the interests of the state. ... A United States soldier demonstrates Foosball with two prosthetic limbs In medicine, a prosthesis is an artificial extension that replaces a missing part of the body. ... Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the application of physical science (e. ... The Universität Karlsruhe (TH) (also called Fridericiana / University of Karlsruhe) recently merged with Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe to form the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... Werner Karl Heisenberg (December 5, 1901 – February 1, 1976) was a celebrated German physicist and Nobel laureate, one of the founders of quantum mechanics and acknowledged to be one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century. ... The University of Leipzig (German Universität Leipzig), located in Leipzig in the Free State of Saxony (former Kingdom of Saxony), Germany, is one of the oldest universities in Europe. ... Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. ... This article is about the thesis in dialectics and academia. ... For a less technical and generally accessible introduction to the topic, see Introduction to quantum mechanics. ... This article is about the chemistry of hydrogen. ... George Gamow (pronounced GAM-off) (March 4, 1904 – August 19, 1968) , born Georgiy Antonovich Gamov (Георгий Антонович Гамов) was a Ukrainian born physicist and cosmologist. ... Lev Davidovich Landau Lev Davidovich Landau (Russian language: Ле́в Дави́дович Ланда́у) (January 22, 1908 – April 1, 1968) was a prominent Soviet physicist, who made fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics. ... George Placzek (September 26, 1905 - October 9, 1955) was a Czech physicist. ... Enrico Fermi (September 29, 1901 – November 28, 1954) was an Italian physicist most noted for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, particle physics and statistical mechanics. ...


He spent two years at the University of Göttingen and left Germany in 1933 through the aid of the Jewish Rescue Committee.[citation needed] He went briefly to England and moved for a year to Copenhagen, where he worked under Niels Bohr. In February 1934, he married "Mici" (Augusta Maria) Harkanyi, the sister of a longtime friend. The Georg-August University of Göttingen (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, often called the Georgia Augusta) was founded in 1734 by George II, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, and opened in 1737. ... Niels Henrik David Bohr (October 7, 1885 – November 18, 1962) was a Danish physicist who made fundamental contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. ...


In 1935, thanks to George Gamow's incentive, Teller was invited to the United States to become a Professor of Physics at the George Washington University (GWU), where he worked with Gamow until 1941.[citation needed] Prior to the discovery of fission in 1939, Teller was engaged as a theoretical physicist working in the fields of quantum, molecular, and nuclear physics. In 1941, after becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States, his interest turned to the use of nuclear energy, both fusion and fission. The George Washington University (GW), is a private, coeducational university located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The school was founded in 1821 as The Columbian College in the District of Columbia by Baptist ministers using funds bequeathed by George Washington. ... For the generation of electrical power by fission, see Nuclear power plant. ... Molecular physics is the study of the physical properties of molecules and of the chemical bonds between atoms that bind them into molecules. ... Nuclear physics is the branch of physics concerned with the nucleus of the atom. ... Naturalization is the process whereby a person becomes a national of a nation, or a citizen of a country, other than the one of his birth. ...

Teller as a young boy
Teller as a young boy

At GWU, Teller predicted the Jahn-Teller Effect (1937),[citation needed] which distorts molecules in certain situations; this affects the chemical reactions of metals, and in particular the coloration of certain metallic dyes. Teller and Hermann Arthur Jahn analyzed it as a piece of purely mathematical physics. In collaboration with Brunauer and Emmet, Teller also made an important contribution to surface physics and chemistry; the so-called Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) isotherm. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1473x1991, 572 KB) Edward Teller posed for his graduation photo from the Minta Model School in Budapest, Hungary. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1473x1991, 572 KB) Edward Teller posed for his graduation photo from the Minta Model School in Budapest, Hungary. ... The Jahn-Teller effect, sometimes also known as Jahn-Teller distortion, describes the geometrical distortion of the electron cloud in a non-linear molecule under certain situations. ... For other uses, see Chemical reaction (disambiguation). ... Hermann Arthur Jahn (b. ... Surface science is the study of physical and chemical phenomena that occur at the interface of two phases, including solid-liquid interfaces, solid-gas interfaces, solid-vacuum interfaces, and liquid-gas interfaces. ... // BET theory is a well-known rule for the physical adsorption of gas molecules on a solid surface. ...


When World War II began, Teller wanted to contribute to the war effort. On the advice of the well-known Caltech aerodynamicist and fellow Hungarian émigré Theodore von Kármán, Teller collaborated with his friend Hans Bethe in developing a theory of shock-wave propagation. In later years, their explanation of the behavior of the gas behind such a wave proved valuable to scientists who were studying missile re-entry. California Institute of Technology The California Institute of Technology (commonly known as Caltech) is a private, coeducational university located in Pasadena, California, in the United States. ... Theodore von Kármán (SzÅ‘llÅ‘skislaki Kármán Tódor) (May 11, 1881 – May 6, 1963) was an engineer and physicist who was active primarily in the fields of aeronautics during the seminal era in the 1940s and 1950s. ... Hans Albrecht Bethe (pronounced bay-tuh; July 2, 1906 – March 6, 2005), was a German-American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1967 for his work on the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. ... For other uses, see Missile (disambiguation). ...


Manhattan Project

In 1942, Teller was invited to be part of Robert Oppenheimer's summer planning seminar at UC Berkeley for the origins of the Manhattan Project, the Allied effort to develop the first nuclear weapons. A few weeks earlier, Teller had been meeting with his friend and colleague Enrico Fermi about the prospects of atomic warfare, and Fermi had nonchalantly suggested that perhaps a weapon based on nuclear fission could be used to set off an even larger nuclear fusion reaction. Even though he initially explained to Fermi why he thought the idea would not work, Teller was fascinated by the possibility and was quickly bored with the idea of "just" an atomic bomb (even though this was not yet anywhere near completion). At the Berkeley session, Teller diverted discussion from the fission weapon to the possibility of a fusion weapon—what he called the "Super" (an early version of what was later known as a hydrogen bomb).[4] J. Robert Oppenheimer[1] (April 22, 1904 – February 18, 1967) was an American theoretical physicist, best known for his role as the director of the Manhattan Project, the World War II effort to develop the first nuclear weapons, at the secret Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico. ... The University of California, Berkeley (also known as Cal, UC Berkeley, UCB, or simply Berkeley) is a prestigious, public, coeducational university situated in the foothills of Berkeley, California to the east of San Francisco Bay, overlooking the Golden Gate and its bridge. ... This article is about the World War II nuclear project. ... Look up ally in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter A nuclear weapon derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions of fusion or fission. ... Enrico Fermi (September 29, 1901 – November 28, 1954) was an Italian physicist most noted for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, particle physics and statistical mechanics. ... Nuclear War is a card game designed by Douglas Malewicki, and originally published in 1966. ... For the generation of electrical power by fission, see Nuclear power plant. ... The deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion reaction is considered the most promising for producing fusion power. ...


On December 6, 1941, the United States had begun development of the atomic bomb, under the supervision of Arthur Compton, chairman of the University of Chicago physics department, who coordinated uranium research with Columbia University, Princeton University, University of Chicago and University of California at Berkeley. Compton transferred Columbia and Princeton scientist to the Metallurgical Laboratory at Chicago. Enrico Fermi moved in at the end of April 1942 and the construction of a Chicago Pile 1 began. Teller was left behind at first, but then called to Chicago two months later. In early 1943, the Los Alamos laboratory was built to design an atomic bomb under the supervision of Oppenheimer in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Teller moved there in April 1943.[5] is the 340th day of the year (341st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... Arthur Holly Compton (September 10, 1892 – March 15, 1962) won the Nobel Prize in Physics (1927) for discovery of the Compton effect named in his honor. ... For other uses, see University of Chicago (disambiguation). ... This article is about the chemical element. ... Alma Mater Columbia University is a private university in the United States and a member of the Ivy League. ... Princeton University is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. ... The University of California, Berkeley (also known as Cal, UC Berkeley, UCB, or simply Berkeley) is a prestigious, public, coeducational university situated in the foothills of Berkeley, California to the east of San Francisco Bay, overlooking the Golden Gate and its bridge. ... The Metallurgical Laboratory or Met Lab at the University of Chicago was part of the World War II–era Manhattan Project, created by the United States to develop an atomic bomb. ... On December 2, 1942, the worlds first artificial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction took place in the worlds first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile Number One, shortened as CP-1, built on a racquets court under the abandoned west stands of the Alonzo Stagg Field stadium on the University... Los Alamos National Laboratory, aerial view from 1995. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ... Los Alamos is an unincorporated townsite in Los Alamos County, New Mexico. ... Capital Santa Fe Largest city Albuquerque Largest metro area Albuquerque metropolitan area Area  Ranked 5th  - Total 121,665 sq mi (315,194 km²)  - Width 342 miles (550 km)  - Length 370 miles (595 km)  - % water 0. ...

Teller's ID badge photo from Los Alamos
Teller's ID badge photo from Los Alamos

Teller became part of the Theoretical Physics division at the then-secret Los Alamos laboratory during the war, and continued to push his ideas for a fusion weapon even though it had been put on a low priority during the war (as the creation of a fission weapon was proving to be difficult enough by itself). Because of his interest in the H-bomb, and his frustration at having been passed over for director of the theoretical division (the job was instead given to Hans Bethe), Teller refused to engage in the calculations for the implosion of the fission bomb. This caused tensions with other researchers, as additional scientists had to be employed to do that work—including Klaus Fuchs, who later was revealed to be a Soviet spy.[6] Apparently, Teller managed to also irk his neighbors by playing the piano late in the night.[7] However, Teller made some valuable contributions to bomb research, especially in the elucidation of the implosion mechanism. Image File history File links Edward_Teller_ID_badge. ... Image File history File links Edward_Teller_ID_badge. ... Los Alamos National Laboratory, aerial view from 1995. ... Los Alamos National Laboratory, aerial view from 1995. ... Hans Albrecht Bethe (pronounced bay-tuh; July 2, 1906 – March 6, 2005), was a German-American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1967 for his work on the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. ... Klaus Fuchs ID badge at Los Alamos. ... Spy and Secret agent redirect here. ... The first nuclear weapons, though large, cumbersome and inefficient, provided the basic design building blocks of all future weapons. ...


In 1946, Teller participated in a conference in which the properties of thermonuclear fuels such as deuterium and the possible design of a hydrogen bomb were discussed. It was concluded that Teller's assessment of a hydrogen bomb had been too favourable, and that both the quantity of deuterium needed, as well as the radiation losses during deuterium burning, would shed doubt on its workability. Addition of expensive tritium to the thermonuclear mixture would likely lower its ignition temperature, but even so, nobody knew at that time how much tritium would be needed, and whether even tritium addition would encourage heat propagation. At the end of the conference, in spite of opposition by some members such as Robert Serber, Teller submitted an unduly optimistic report in which he said that a hydrogen bomb was feasible, and that further work should be encouraged on its development. Fuchs had also participated in this conference, and transmitted this information to Moscow. The model of Teller's "classical Super" was so uncertain that Oppenheimer would later say that he wished the Russians were building their own hydrogen bomb based on that design, so that it would almost certainly retard their progress on it.[8] Deuterium, also called heavy hydrogen, is a stable isotope of hydrogen with a natural abundance in the oceans of Earth of approximately one atom in 6500 of hydrogen (~154 PPM). ... Tritium (symbol T or ³H) is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. ... Robert Serber (1909 - June 1, 1997) was a physicist who participated in the Manhattan Project. ...


In 1946, Teller left Los Alamos to return to the University of Chicago as a professor and close associate of Enrico Fermi and Maria Mayer.[9]


Hydrogen bomb

The Teller-Ulam design kept the fission and fusion fuel physically separated from one another, and used radiation from the primary device "reflected" off of the surrounding casing to compress the secondary.
The Teller-Ulam design kept the fission and fusion fuel physically separated from one another, and used radiation from the primary device "reflected" off of the surrounding casing to compress the secondary.

Following the Soviet Union's first test detonation of an atomic bomb in 1949, President Truman announced a crash development program for a hydrogen bomb. Teller returned to Los Alamos in 1950 to work on the project. Teller quickly grew impatient with the progress of the program, insisted on involving more theorists, and accused his colleagues of lacking imagination. This worsened his relations with other researchers. None of his designs (or anyone else's), however, were yet workable. Bethe thought that had Teller not pressed for an early H-bomb test, the Russians' own development might possibly have been slowed, particularly as the information Klaus Fuchs gave them contained many incorrect technical details that rendered a workable H-bomb infeasible. Russian scientists who had worked on the Soviet hydrogen bomb have claimed that they could see that the early ideas were infeasible as well as anyone else who had looked at them did, and also claimed that they developed their H-bomb wholly independently.[10] Image File history File links Teller-Ulam_device_3D.svg Highly-schematic representation of the main components of a Teller-Ulam design hydrogen bomb. ... Image File history File links Teller-Ulam_device_3D.svg Highly-schematic representation of the main components of a Teller-Ulam design hydrogen bomb. ... The basics of the Teller–Ulam configuration: a fission bomb uses radiation to compress and heat a separate section of fusion fuel. ... For the victim of Mt. ... Klaus Fuchs ID badge at Los Alamos. ...


In 1950, calculations by the Polish mathematician Stanislaw Ulam and his collaborator Cornelius Everett, along with confirmations by Fermi, had shown that not only was Teller's earlier estimate of the quantity of tritium needed for the H-bomb a low one, but that even with a higher amount of tritium, the energy losses in the fusion process would be too great to enable the fusion reaction to propagate. However, in 1951, after still many years of fruitless labor on the "Super," an innovative idea from Ulam was seized upon by Teller and developed into the first workable design for a megaton-range hydrogen bomb. The exact contribution provided respectively from Ulam and Teller to what became known as the Teller-Ulam design is not definitively known in the public domain—the degree of credit assigned to Teller by his contemporaries is almost exactly commensurate with how well they thought of Teller generally.[citation needed] In an interview with Scientific American from 1999, Teller told the reporter: StanisÅ‚aw Ulam in the 1950s. ... Tritium (symbol T or ³H) is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. ... The basics of the Teller–Ulam configuration: a fission bomb uses radiation to compress and heat a separate section of fusion fuel. ... Scientific American is a popular-science magazine, published (first weekly and later monthly) since August 28, 1845, making it the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States. ...

"I contributed; Ulam did not. I'm sorry I had to answer it in this abrupt way. Ulam was rightly dissatisfied with an old approach. He came to me with a part of an idea which I already had worked out and difficulty getting people to listen to. He was willing to sign a paper. When it then came to defending that paper and really putting work into it, he refused. He said, 'I don't believe in it.'"[2]

The issue is controversial. Bethe spoke of Teller’s "stroke of genius" in the invention of the H-bomb as early as 1954.[11] Other scientists (antagonistic to Teller, such as J. Carson Mark) have claimed that Teller would have never gotten any closer without the assistance of Ulam and others.[12] J. Carson Mark (July 6, 1913–March 2, 1997) was a Canadian-born American mathematician known especially for his work on developing nuclear weapons for the United States at Los Alamos National Laboratory. ...


The breakthrough—the details of which are still classified—was apparently the separation of the fission and fusion components of the weapons, and to use the radiation produced by the fission bomb to first compress the fusion fuel before igniting it. However, compression alone would not have been enough and the other crucial idea—staging the bomb by separating the primary and secondary—seems to have been exclusively contributed by Ulam. Also, Ulam's idea seems to have been to use mechanical shock from the primary to encourage fusion in the secondary, while Teller quickly realised that radiation from the primary would do the job much earlier and more efficiently. Some members of the laboratory (J. Carson Mark in particular) later expressed that the idea to use the radiation would have eventually occurred to anyone working on the physical processes involved, and that the obvious reason why Teller thought of radiation right away was because he was already working on the "Greenhouse" tests for the spring of 1951, in which the effect of the energy from a fission bomb on a mixture of deuterium and tritium was going to be investigated.[13] For other uses, see Radiation (disambiguation). ... Operation Greenhouse was the fifth American nuclear test series, the second conducted in 1951 and the first to test thermonuclear weapons (hydrogen bombs). ...


Whatever the actual components of the so-called Teller-Ulam design and the respective contributions of those who worked on it, after it was proposed it was immediately seen by the scientists working on the project as the answer which had been so long sought. Those who previously had doubted whether a fission-fusion bomb would be feasible at all were converted into believing that it was only a matter of time before both the USA and the USSR had developed multi-megaton weapons. Even Oppenheimer, who was originally opposed to the project, called the idea "technically sweet."[14] Unit of energy commonly used to quantify laerge amounts of energy. ...

The 10.4 Mt "Ivy Mike" shot of 1952 appeared to vindicate Teller's long-time advocacy for the hydrogen bomb.
The 10.4 Mt "Ivy Mike" shot of 1952 appeared to vindicate Teller's long-time advocacy for the hydrogen bomb.

Though he had helped to come up with the design and had been a long-time proponent of the concept, Teller was not chosen to head the development project (his reputation of a thorny personality likely played a role in this). In 1952 he left Los Alamos and joined the newly established Livermore branch of the University of California Radiation Laboratory, which had been created largely through his urging. After the detonation of "Ivy Mike", the first thermonuclear weapon to utilize the Teller-Ulam configuration, on November 1, 1952, Teller became known in the press as the "father of the hydrogen bomb." Teller himself refrained from attending the test—he claimed not to feel welcome at the Pacific Proving Grounds—and instead saw its results on a seismograph in the basement of a hall in Berkeley.[13] Ivy Mike mushroom cloud. ... Ivy Mike mushroom cloud. ... A megaton or megatonne is a unit of mass equal to 1,000,000 metric tons, i. ... The mushroom cloud from the Mike shot. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 lifted nuclear fallout some 18 km (60,000 feet) above the epicenter. ... Aerial view of the lab and surrounding area, facing NW. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory, managed and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), a limited liability consortium comprised of Bechtel National, the University of... The Berkeley Lab is perched on a hill overlooking the Berkeley central campus and San Francisco Bay. ... The mushroom cloud from the Mike shot. ... is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The United States began using the Marshall Islands as a nuclear testing site beginning in 1946. ... Seismographs (in Greek seismos = earthquake and graphein = write) are used by seismologists to record seismic waves. ...


By analyzing the fallout from this test, the Soviets (led in their H-bomb work by Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov) could have easily deduced that the new design had used compression as the key initiator. However, this was later denied by the Soviet bomb researchers, who later claimed that they were not yet at that time organized to collect fallout data from U.S. tests. Because of official secrecy, little information about the bomb's development was released by the government, and press reports often attributed the entire weapon's design and development to Teller and his new Livermore Laboratory (when it was actually developed by Los Alamos).[10] Andrei Sakharov, 1943 For the historian, see Andrey Nikolayevich Sakharov. ...


Many of Teller's colleagues were irritated that he seemed to enjoy taking full credit for something he had only a part in, and in response, with encouragement from Enrico Fermi, Teller authored an article titled "The Work of Many People," which appeared in Science magazine in February 1955, emphasizing that he was not alone in the weapon's development. He would later write in his memoirs that he had told a "white lie" in the 1955 article in order to "soothe ruffled feelings", and claimed full credit for the invention.[15][16]


Teller was known for getting engrossed in projects which were theoretically interesting but practically unfeasible (the classic "Super" was one such project.)[7] About his work on the hydrogen bomb, Bethe said:

"Nobody will blame Teller because the calculations of 1946 were wrong, especially because adequate computing machines were not available at Los Alamos. But he was blamed at Los Alamos for leading the laboratory, and indeed the whole country, into an adventurous programme on the basis of calculations, which he himself must have known to have been very incomplete."[17]

During the Manhattan Project, Teller also advocated the development of a bomb using uranium hydride, which many of his fellow theorists said would be unlikely to work. At Livermore, Teller continued work on the hydride bomb, and the result was a dud. Ulam once wrote to a colleague about an idea he had shared with Teller: "Edward is full of enthusiasm about these possibilities; this is perhaps an indication they will not work." Fermi once said that Teller was the only monomaniac he knew who had several manias.[18] This article is about the chemical element. ... In psychiatry, monomania (from Greek monos, one, and mania, mania) is a type of paranoia in which the patient has only one idea or type of ideas. ... This article is an expansion of a section entitled Mania from within the main article Bipolar disorder. ...


Oppenheimer controversy

Teller's testimony against Robert Oppenheimer in 1954 furthered his process of alienation from many of his former Los Alamos colleagues.

The rift between Teller and many of his colleagues was widened in 1954 when he testified against Robert Oppenheimer, former head of Los Alamos and member of the Atomic Energy Commission, at Oppenheimer's security clearance hearing. Teller had clashed with Oppenheimer many times at Los Alamos over issues relating both to fission and fusion research, and during Oppenheimer's trial he was the only member of the scientific community to label Oppenheimer a security risk. Edward Teller in 1958 as director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. ... Edward Teller in 1958 as director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. ... J. Robert Oppenheimer[1] (April 22, 1904 – February 18, 1967) was an American theoretical physicist, best known for his role as the director of the Manhattan Project, the World War II effort to develop the first nuclear weapons, at the secret Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico. ... Shield of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. ...


Asked at the hearing by prosecutor Roger Robb whether he was planning "to suggest that Dr. Oppenheimer is disloyal to the United States," Teller replied that:

I do not want to suggest anything of the kind. I know Oppenheimer as an intellectually most alert and a very complicated person, and I think it would be presumptuous and wrong on my part if I would try in any way to analyze his motives. But I have always assumed, and I now assume that he is loyal to the United States. I believe this, and I shall believe it until I see very conclusive proof to the opposite.[19]

However, he was immediately asked whether he believed that Oppenheimer was a "security risk", to which he testified:

In a great number of cases I have seen Dr. Oppenheimer act—I understood that Dr. Oppenheimer acted—in a way which for me was exceedingly hard to understand. I thoroughly disagreed with him in numerous issues and his actions frankly appeared to me confused and complicated. To this extent I feel that I would like to see the vital interests of this country in hands which I understand better, and therefore trust more. In this very limited sense I would like to express a feeling that I would feel personally more secure if public matters would rest in other hands.[11]

Teller also testified that Oppenheimer's opinion about the thermonuclear program seemed to be based more on the scientific feasibility of the weapon than anything else. He additionally testified that Oppenheimer's direction of Los Alamos was "a very outstanding achievement" both as a scientist and an administrator, lauding his "very quick mind" and that he made "just a most wonderful and excellent director."


After this, however, he detailed ways in which he felt that Oppenheimer had hindered his efforts towards an active thermonuclear development program, and at length criticized Oppenheimer's decisions not to invest more work onto the question at different points in his career, saying:

If it is a question of wisdom and judgment, as demonstrated by actions since 1945, then I would say one would be wiser not to grant clearance.[11]

After a public hearing, the authorities agreed with Teller. Oppenheimer's security clearance was eventually stripped, and Teller was treated as a pariah by many of his former colleagues. In response, Teller began to run with a more military and governmental crowd, becoming the scientific darling of conservative politicians and thinkers for his advocacy of American scientific and technological supremacy. After the fact, Teller consistently denied that he was intending to damn Oppenheimer, and even claimed that he was attempting to exonerate him. Documentary evidence has suggested that this was likely not the case, however. Six days before the testimony, Teller met with an AEC liaison officer and suggested "deepening the charges" in his testimony.[20] It has been suggested that Teller's testimony against Oppenheimer was an attempt to remove Oppenheimer from power so that Teller could become the leader of the American nuclear scientist community.[21] Conservatism is a term used to describe political philosophies that favor tradition and gradual change, where tradition refers to religious, cultural, or nationally defined beliefs and customs. ...


Government work and political advocacy

During the 1960s, Teller argued vigorously against the proposed nuclear test ban, testifying before Congress as well as on television.
During the 1960s, Teller argued vigorously against the proposed nuclear test ban, testifying before Congress as well as on television.

Teller was Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1958–1960), which he helped to found (along with Ernest O. Lawrence), and after that he continued as an Associate Director. He chaired the committee that founded the Space Sciences Laboratory at Berkeley. He also served concurrently as a Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He was a tireless advocate of a strong nuclear program and argued for continued testing and development—in fact, he stepped down from the directorship of Livermore so that he could better lobby against the proposed test ban.[22] He testified against the test ban both before Congress as well as on television. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2178x1672, 676 KB) Edward Teller preparing for a television segment of some kind. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2178x1672, 676 KB) Edward Teller preparing for a television segment of some kind. ... The Treaty Banning poop, in Outer Space, and Under Water, often abbreviated as the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), or Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (NTBT), although the former also refers to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), is a treaty intended to obtain an agreement... Aerial view of the lab and surrounding area, facing NW. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory, managed and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), a limited liability consortium comprised of Bechtel National, the University of... Ernest Orlando Lawrence (August 8, 1901 - August 27, 1958) was an American physicist and Nobel laureate best known for his invention of the cyclotron. ... The Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) is run by the University of California, Berkeley. ... Sather tower (the Campanile) looking out over the San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpais. ... This article is about the political effort. ... The Treaty Banning poop, in Outer Space, and Under Water, often abbreviated as the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), or Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (NTBT), although the former also refers to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), is a treaty intended to obtain an agreement...


After the Oppenheimer controversy, Teller became ostracized by much of the scientific community, but for obvious reasons was still quite welcome in the government and military science circles. Along with his traditional advocacy for nuclear energy development, a strong nuclear arsenal, and a vigorous nuclear testing program, he had helped to develop nuclear reactor safety standards as the chair of the Reactor Safeguard Committee of the AEC in the late 1940s,[23] and later headed an effort at General Atomics to design research reactors in which a nuclear meltdown would be theoretically impossible (the TRIGA).[24] Core of a small nuclear reactor used for research. ... General Atomics is a nuclear physics and defense contractor headquartered in San Diego, California. ... Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station consisted of two pressurized water reactors manufactured by Babcock & Wilcox each inside its own containment building and connected cooling towers. ... TRIGA is a class of small nuclear reactor designed and manufactured by General Atomics of the USA. TRIGA is an acronym of Training, Research, Isotopes, General Atomics. This type of reactor can be installed without a containment building, and is designed for use by scientific institutions and universities for purposes...


Teller established the Department of Applied Science at the University of California, Davis and LLNL in 1963, which holds the Edward Teller endowed professorship in his honor.[25] In 1975 he retired from both the lab and Berkeley, and was named Director Emeritus of the Livermore Laboratory and appointed Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution.[7] After the fall of communism in Hungary in 1989, he made several visits to his country of origin, and paid careful attention to the political changes there. The University of California, Davis, commonly known as UC Davis, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California, and was established as the University Farm in 1905. ... Aerial view of the lab and surrounding area, facing NW. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory, managed and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), a limited liability consortium comprised of Bechtel National, the University of... Hoover Tower at the Hoover Institution The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded by Herbert Hoover at Stanford University, his alma mater. ... This article is about the form of society and political movement. ...


Operation Plowshare and Project Chariot

One of the Chariot schemes involved chaining five thermonuclear devices to create the artificial harbor.
One of the Chariot schemes involved chaining five thermonuclear devices to create the artificial harbor.

Teller was one of the strongest and best-known advocates for investigating non-military uses of nuclear explosives, known as Operation Plowshare. One of the most controversial projects he proposed was a plan to use a multi-megaton hydrogen bomb to dig a deep-water harbor more than a mile long and half a mile wide to use for shipment of resources from coal and oil fields through Point Hope, Alaska. The Atomic Energy Commission accepted Teller's proposal in 1958 and it was designated Project Chariot. While the AEC was scouting out the Alaskan site, and having withdrawn the land from the public domain, Teller publicly advocated the economic benefits of the plan, but was unable to convince local government leaders that the plan was financially viable.[26] Image File history File links Project_Chariot_plans. ... Image File history File links Project_Chariot_plans. ... Chagan (nuclear test) in Soviet Union 1965 was used to create a dam on Semipalatinsk river Peaceful nuclear explosions (PNEs) are nuclear explosions conducted for non-military purposes, such as activities related to economic development including the creation of canals. ... The 1962 Sedan plowshares shot displaced 12 million tons of earth and created a crater 320 feet (97. ... Point Hope is a city in North Slope Borough, Alaska, United States. ... For other uses, see Alaska (disambiguation). ... Shield of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. ... Operation Chariot was a 1958 American proposal to construct an artificial harbor at Cape Thompson, Alaska by means of a nuclear explosion. ...


Other scientists criticized the project as being potentially unsafe for the local wildlife and the Inupiat people living near the designated area, who were not officially told of the plan until March 1960.[27] Additionally, it turned out that the harbor would be ice-bound for nine months out of the year. In the end, due to the financial infeasibility of the project and the concerns over radiation-related health issues, the project was cancelled in 1962. The Inupiat or Iñupiaq are the Inuit people of Alaskas Northwest Arctic and North Slope boroughs and the Bering Straits region. ...


A related experiment which also had Teller's endorsement was a plan to extract oil from the Athabasca oil sands in northern Alberta with nuclear explosions.[28] The plan actually received the endorsement of the Alberta government, but was rejected by the Government of Canada under Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. In addition to being opposed to having nuclear weapons in Canada, Diefenbaker was concerned that such a project would intensify Soviet espionage in Northern Canada.[citation needed] The Athabasca Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada. ... For other uses, see Alberta (disambiguation). ... The Government of Canada is the federal government of Canada. ... Regions Political culture Foreign relations Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      The Prime Minister of Canada (French: Premier ministre du Canada), is the Minister of the Crown who is head of the Government of Canada. ... John George Diefenbaker, CH, PC, QC, BA, MA, LL.B, LL.D, DCL, FRSC, FRSA, D.Litt, DSL, (18 September 1895 – 16 August 1979) was the 13th Prime Minister of Canada (1957 – 1963). ... Northern Canada, defined politically Northern Canada is the vast northernmost region of Canada variously defined by geography and politics. ...


Three Mile Island

Teller as "the only victim of Three Mile Island" in his 1979 Wall Street Journal pro-nuclear ad

Teller suffered a heart attack in 1979, which he blamed on Jane Fonda; after the Three Mile Island accident, the actress had outspokenly lobbied against nuclear power while promoting her latest movie, The China Syndrome (a movie depicting a nuclear accident which had coincidentally been released only a little over a week before the actual incident.) In response, Teller acted quickly to lobby in favor of nuclear energy, testifying to its safety and reliability, and after such a flurry of activity suffered the attack. Teller authored a two-page spread in the Wall Street Journal which appeared on July 31, 1979, under the headline "I was the only victim of Three-Mile Island", which opened with: Download high resolution version (1208x803, 494 KB)Shortly after the Three Mile Island reactor accident in 1979, the physicist Edward Teller was featured in a two-page ad by Dresser Industries proclaiming himself as the only victim of Three-Mile Island on account of his having a heart attack while... Download high resolution version (1208x803, 494 KB)Shortly after the Three Mile Island reactor accident in 1979, the physicist Edward Teller was featured in a two-page ad by Dresser Industries proclaiming himself as the only victim of Three-Mile Island on account of his having a heart attack while... Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station consists of two nuclear reactors, each with its own containment building and cooling towers. ... Heart attack redirects here. ... Jane Fonda (born December 21, 1937) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model, and fitness guru. ... For details on this station, see Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station. ... Core of a small nuclear reactor used for research. ... The China Syndrome is a 1979 thriller film which tells the story of a reporter and cameramen who discover safety coverups at a nuclear power plant. ... The Wall Street Journal is an influential international daily newspaper published in New York City, New York with an average daily circulation of 1,800,607 (2002). ... is the 212th day of the year (213th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ...

On May 7, a few weeks after the accident at Three-Mile Island, I was in Washington. I was there to refute some of that propaganda that Ralph Nader, Jane Fonda and their kind are spewing to the news media in their attempt to frighten people away from nuclear power. I am 71 years old, and I was working 20 hours a day. The strain was too much. The next day, I suffered a heart attack. You might say that I was the only one whose health was affected by that reactor near Harrisburg. No, that would be wrong. It was not the reactor. It was Jane Fonda. Reactors are not dangerous.[29]

The next day, The New York Times ran an editorial criticizing the ad, noting that it was sponsored by Dresser Industries, the firm which had manufactured one of the defective valves which contributed to the Three Mile Island accident.[30] For other uses, see Propaganda (disambiguation). ... Ralph Nader (born February 27, 1934) is an American attorney and political activist in the areas of consumer rights, humanitarianism, environmentalism and democratic government. ... The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed internationally. ... Dresser Industries was a multinational corporation headquartered in Dallas, Texas, which provides a wide range of technology, products, and services used for developing energy and natural resources. ...


Strategic Defense Initiative

Teller became a major lobbying force of the Strategic Defense Initiative to President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
Teller became a major lobbying force of the Strategic Defense Initiative to President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

In the 1980s, Teller began a strong campaign for what was later called the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), derided by critics as "Star Wars," the concept of using lasers or satellites to destroy incoming Russian ICBMs. Teller lobbied with government agencies—and got the sanction of President Ronald Reagan—for his plan to develop a system using elaborate satellites which used atomic weapons to fire X-ray lasers at incoming missiles— as part of a broader scientific research program into defenses against nuclear weapons. However, scandal erupted when Teller (and his associate Lowell Wood) were accused of deliberately overselling the program and perhaps had encouraged the dismissal of a laboratory director (Roy Woodruff) who had attempted to correct the error.[30] His claims led to a joke which circulated in the scientific community, that a new unit of unfounded optimism was designated as the teller; one teller was so large that most events had to be measured in nanotellers or picotellers. Many prominent scientists argued that the system was futile. Bethe, along with IBM physicist Richard Garwin and Cornell University colleague Kurt Gottfried, wrote an article in Scientific American which analyzed the system and concluded that any putative enemy could disable such a system by the use of suitable decoys. The project's funding was eventually scaled back. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1750x1260, 555 KB) Edward Teller and Ronald Reagan, photograph from when Reagan awarded Teller the National Medal of Science in 1983. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1750x1260, 555 KB) Edward Teller and Ronald Reagan, photograph from when Reagan awarded Teller the National Medal of Science in 1983. ... The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983[1] to use ground-based and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. ... Reagan redirects here. ... The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983[1] to use ground-based and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. ... A Minuteman III missile soars after a test launch. ... Reagan redirects here. ... For other uses, see Satellite (disambiguation). ... In the NATO phonetic alphabet, X-ray represents the letter X. An X-ray picture (radiograph) taken by Röntgen An X-ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength approximately in the range of 5 pm to 10 nanometers (corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 PHz... For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation) and Big Blue. ... Richard L. Garwin (born 1928), is an American physicist. ... Cornell redirects here. ...


Many scientists opposed strategic defense on moral or political rather than purely technical grounds. They argued that, even if an effective system could be produced, it would undermine the system of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) that had prevented all-out war between the western democracies and the communist bloc. An effective defense, they contended, would make such a war "winnable" and therefore more likely.[30] Mutually assured destruction (MAD) is the doctrine of military strategy in which a full scale use of nuclear weapons by one of two opposing sides would result in the destruction of both the attacker and the defender. ...


Despite (or perhaps because of) his hawkish reputation, Teller made a public point of noting that he regretted the use of the first atomic bombs on civilian cities during World War II. He further claimed that before the bombing of Hiroshima he had indeed lobbied Oppenheimer to use the weapons first in a "demonstration" which could be witnessed by the Japanese high-command and citizenry before using them to incur thousands of deaths. The "father of the hydrogen bomb" would use this quasi-anti-nuclear stance (he would say that he believed nuclear weapons to be unfortunate, but that the arms race was unavoidable due to the intractable nature of Communism) to promote technologies such as SDI, arguing that they were needed to make sure that nuclear weapons could never be used again (Better a shield than a sword was the title of one of his books on the subject). For other uses, see Hiroshima (disambiguation). ... The term arms race in its original usage describes a competition between two or more parties for military supremacy. ...


However, there is contradictory evidence. In the 1970s, a letter of Teller to Leo Szilard emerged, dated July 2, 1945: Leó Szilárd (right) working with Albert Einstein. ... is the 183rd day of the year (184th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ...


"Our only hope is in getting the facts of our results before the people. This might help convince everybody the next war would be fatal. For this purpose, actual combat-use might even be the best thing."[31]


The historian Barton Bernstein argued that it is an "unconvincing claim" by Teller that he was a "covert dissenter" to the use of the weapon.[32] In his 2001 Memoirs, Teller claims that he did lobby Oppenheimer, but that Oppenheimer had convinced him that he should take no action and that the scientists should leave military questions in the hands of the military; Teller claims he was not aware that Oppenheimer and other scientists were being consulted as to the actual use of the weapon and implies that Oppenheimer was being hypocritical.[33]


Legacy

Edward Teller in his later years
Edward Teller in his later years

In his early career, Teller made contributions to nuclear and molecular physics, spectroscopy (the Jahn-Teller and Renner-Teller effects), and surface physics. His extension of Fermi's theory of beta decay (in the form of the so-called Gamow-Teller transitions) provided an important stepping stone in the applications of this theory. The Jahn-Teller effect and the BET theory have retained their original formulation and are still mainstays in physics and chemistry.[citation needed] Teller also made contributions to Thomas-Fermi theory, the precursor of density functional theory, a standard modern tool in the quantum mechanical treatment of complex molecules. In 1953, along with Nicholas Metropolis and Marshall Rosenbluth, Teller co-authored a paper which is a standard starting point for the applications of the Monte Carlo method to statistical mechanics. Edward Teller in his later years. ... Edward Teller in his later years. ... Nuclear physics is the branch of physics concerned with the nucleus of the atom. ... Molecular physics is the study of the physical properties of molecules and of the chemical bonds between atoms that bind them into molecules. ... Animation of the dispersion of light as it travels through a triangular prism. ... The Jahn-Teller effect, sometimes also known as Jahn-Teller distortion, describes the geometrical distortion of the electron cloud in a non-linear molecule under certain situations. ... In its original formulation the Renner-Teller effect is a (so-called vibronic) coupling in triatomic linear molecules between the motions of the electrons and the nuclear vibrations. ... An open surface with X-, Y-, and Z-contours shown. ... In nuclear physics, beta decay (sometimes called neutron decay) is a type of radioactive decay in which a beta particle (an electron or a positron) is emitted. ... // BET theory is a well-known rule for the physical adsorption of gas molecules on a solid surface. ... Density functional theory (DFT) is a quantum mechanical method used in physics and chemistry to investigate the electronic structure of many-body systems, in particular molecules and the condensed phases. ... Nicholas Constantine Metropolis (June 11, 1915 – October 17, 1999) was a Greek-American mathematician, physicist, and computer scientist. ... Marshall Nicholas Rosenbluth (5 February 1927–-28 September 2003) was an American nuclear physicist. ... Monte Carlo methods are a widely used class of computational algorithms for simulating the behavior of various physical and mathematical systems, and for other computations. ... Statistical mechanics is the application of probability theory, which includes mathematical tools for dealing with large populations, to the field of mechanics, which is concerned with the motion of particles or objects when subjected to a force. ...


Teller's vigorous advocacy for strength through nuclear weapons, especially when so many of his wartime colleagues later expressed regret about the arms race, made him an easy target for the "mad scientist" stereotype (his accent and eyebrows certainly did not help shake the image). In 1991 he was awarded one of the first Ig Nobel Prizes for Peace in recognition of his "lifelong efforts to change the meaning of peace as we know it". He was also rumored to be the inspiration for the character of Dr. Strangelove in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 satirical film of the same name[7] (other inspirations have been speculated to be RAND theorist Herman Kahn, rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara). In the aforementioned Scientific American interview from 1999, he was reported as having bristled at the question: "My name is not Strangelove. I don't know about Strangelove. I'm not interested in Strangelove. What else can I say?... Look. Say it three times more, and I throw you out of this office."[2] Nobel Prize winning physicist Isidor I. Rabi once suggested that "It would have been a better world without Teller."[34] In addition, Teller's false claims that Stanislaw Ulam made no significant contribution to the development of the hydrogen bomb (despite Ulam's key insights of using compression and staging elements to generate the thermonuclear reaction) and his vicious personal attacks on Oppenheimer caused even greater animosity within the general physics community towards Teller.[21] They LAUGHED at my theories at the institute! Fools! Ill destroy them all! Caucasian, male, aging, crooked teeth, messy hair, lab coat, spectacles/goggles, dramatic posing — one popular stereotype of mad scientist. ... Flying frog. ... Kubrick redirects here. ... 1867 edition of Punch, a ground-breaking British magazine of popular humour, including a good deal of satire of the contemporary social and political scene. ... The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit global policy think tank first formed to offer research and analysis to the United States armed forces. ... Herman Kahn, May 1965 Herman Kahn (February 15, 1922 – July 7, 1983) was a military strategist and systems theorist employed at RAND Corporation, USA. // Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, Kahn grew up in the Bronx, then in Los Angeles following his parents divorce. ... For other uses of von Braun, see von Braun (disambiguation). ... The United States Secretary of Defense is the head of the United States Department of Defense, concerned with the armed services and The Secretary is a member of the Presidents Cabinet. ... For the figure skater, see Robert McNamara (figure skater). ... Isidor Isaac Rabi (July 29, 1898 - January 11, 1988) was an American physicist of Austro-Hungarian origin. ...


Teller died in Stanford, California on September 9, 2003.[7] In 1986, he was awarded the United States Military Academy's Sylvanus Thayer Award.[35] He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Nuclear Society.[9] Among the honors he received were the Albert Einstein Award, the Enrico Fermi Award, and the National Medal of Science.[35] He was also named as part of the group of "U.S. Scientists" who were Time magazine's People of the Year in 1960,[36] and an asteroid, 5006 Teller, is named after him.[37] He was awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush less than two months before his death.[7] Stanford is a census-designated place (CDP) located in Santa Clara County, California. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... USMA redirects here. ... The Sylvanus Thayer Award is a military award that is given each year by the United States Military Academy at West Point. ... The House of the Academy, Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is an organization that promotes cooperation between scientists, defends scientific freedom, encourages scientific responsibility and supports scientific education for the betterment of all humanity. ... The American Nuclear Society is a non-profit, educational organization established by a group of individuals who recognized the need to bring together professional activities within the fields of nuclear science and technology. ... The Albert Einstein Award is an award in theoretical physics, that was established to recognize high achievement in the natural sciences. ... The Enrico Fermi Award is a U.S. government Presidential award honoring scientists of international stature for their lifetime achievement in the development, use, or production of energy. ... National Medal of Science The National Medal of Science is an honor given by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. ... “TIME” redirects here. ... Person of the Year is an annual issue of United States (U.S.) newsmagazine Time that features a profile on the man, woman, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that [1] // The tradition of selecting a Man of the Year began in 1927, when Time editors contemplated what they could... The Presidential Medal of Freedom The Presidential Medal of Freedom is one of the two highest civilian awards in the United States and is bestowed by the President of the United States (the other award which is considered its equivalent is the Congressional Gold Medal, which is bestowed by an... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the forty-third and current President of the United States of America, originally inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ...


Notes

  1. ^ "I have always considered that description in poor taste." Teller, Memoirs, p. 546.
  2. ^ a b c Stix, Gary (October 1999). "Infamy and honor at the Atomic Café: Edward Teller has no regrets about his contentious career". Scientific American: 42–43. Retrieved on 2007-11-25. 
  3. ^ Teller, Memoirs, p. 80; see also Interview with Edward Teller, part 40. Going to Rome with Placzek to visit Fermi. Peoples Archive.
  4. ^ Rhodes 1995; Herken 2002.
  5. ^ Hughes, Colin (2005). The Real Edward Teller?. Logosonline. Retrieved on 2007-10-31.
  6. ^ Herken 2002.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Shurkin, Joel N. "Edward Teller, 'Father of the Hydrogen Bomb,' is dead at 95", Stanford Report, Stanford News Service, September 10, 2003. Retrieved on 2007-11-27. 
  8. ^ Rhodes 1995, p. 255.
  9. ^ a b About the lab:Edward Teller—A Life Dedicated to Science. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (January 7, 2004). Retrieved on 2007-11-28.
  10. ^ a b Khariton, Yuli; Yuri Smirnov (May 1993). "The Khariton version". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 49 (4): 20–31. 
  11. ^ a b c Bethe, Hans (1954). Testimony in the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Atomic Archive. Retrieved on 2006-11-10.
  12. ^ Carlson, Bengt (July/August 2003). "How Ulam set the stage". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: 46–51. 
  13. ^ a b Rhodes 1995.
  14. ^ Thorpe, Charles (2006). Oppenheimer: The Tragic Intellect. University of Chicago Press, 106. ISBN 0226798453. 
  15. ^ Teller, Memoirs, p. 407, fn. 6.
  16. ^ Uchii, Soshichi (2003-07-22). "Review of Edward Teller's Memoirs". PHS Newsletter 52. 
  17. ^ Bethe, Hans A. (1982). "Comments on The History of the H-Bomb" (PDF). Los Alamos Science 3 (3): 47. Retrieved on 2007-11-28. 
  18. ^ Herken 2002: Fermi on p. 25, Ulam on p. 137
  19. ^ Teller, Edward (1954-04-28). In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer: Transcript of Hearing Before Personnel Security Board. pbs.org. United States Government Printing Office. Retrieved on 2007-11-24.
  20. ^ Shapin, Steven. "Megaton Man", London Review of Books, 2002-04-25. Retrieved on 2007-11-24.  Review of Edward Teller's Memoirs.
  21. ^ a b McMillan, Priscilla (2005). The Ruin of J. Robert Oppenheimer and The Birth of the Arms Race. Viking. ISBN 0670034223. 
  22. ^ Herken, p. 330.
  23. ^ Teller, Memoirs, ch. 22.
  24. ^ Teller, Memoirs, pp. 423–424.
  25. ^ UC Davis News Service (1999-06-14). Hertz Foundation Makes $1 Million Endowment in Honor of Edward Teller. Press release. Retrieved on 2007-11-24.
  26. ^ O'Neill 1994.
  27. ^ O'Neill, Firecracker Boys, pp, 97, 111; Broad, Teller's War, p.48.
  28. ^ Loreto, Frank. "Review of Nuclear Dynamite", CM Magazine, 2002-04-26. 
  29. ^ "I was the only victim of Three-Mile Island," [advertisement] Wall Street Journal, (31 July 1979): 24–25.
  30. ^ a b c Broad 1992.
  31. ^ Teller, Edward: Better a Shield than a Sword: Perspectives on Defense and Technology, The Free Press, New York, 1987 p. 57
  32. ^ Essay Review-From the A-Bomb to Star Wars: Edward Teller's History. Better A Shield Than a Sword: Perspectives on Defense and Technology Technology and Culture, Vol. 31, No. 4. (Oct., 1990), p. 848
  33. ^ Teller, Memoirs, pp. 206–209.
  34. ^ This quote has been primarily attributed to Rabi in many news sources (see, e.g., McKie, Robin, Megaton megalomaniac, The Observer, May 2, 2004), but it has also in a few reputable sources been attributed to Hans Bethe (i.e. in the notes to the Epilogue in Herken 2002, note 40).
  35. ^ a b Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient Dr. Edward Teller. Presidential Medal of Freedom. Retrieved on 2007-11-28.
  36. ^ Time Person of the year, 1960: U.S. Scientists. Time magazine (January 2, 1961). Retrieved on 2007-11-28.
  37. ^ The Ames Astrogram: Teller visits Ames (PDF) p. 6. NASA (November 27, 2000). Retrieved on 2007-11-28.

Gary Stix is a journalist and author. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 329th day of the year (330th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 331st day of the year (332nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 7th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 332nd day of the year (333rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Julii Borisovich Khariton (Ю́лий Бори́сович Харито́н, February 27, 1904 - December 18, 1996) was a Soviet physicist working in the field of atomic energy. ... Hans Albrecht Bethe (pronounced bay-tuh; July 2, 1906 – March 6, 2005), was a German-American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1967 for his work on the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 314th day of the year (315th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 203rd day of the year (204th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 332nd day of the year (333rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 328th day of the year (329th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Steven Shapin is Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science, joining Harvard in 2004 after previous appointments as Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego, and at the Science Studies Unit, Edinburgh University. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... is the 115th day of the year (116th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 328th day of the year (329th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... is the 165th day of the year (166th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For information on Wikipedia press releases, see Wikipedia:Press releases. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 328th day of the year (329th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... is the 116th day of the year (117th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 212th day of the year (213th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... May 2 is the 122nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (123rd in leap years). ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 332nd day of the year (333rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 2nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 332nd day of the year (333rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 331st day of the year (332nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 332nd day of the year (333rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

Herken (2002) is the source where not otherwise indicated.

  • Broad, William J. Teller’s War: The Top-Secret Story Behind the Star Wars Deception. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992. ISBN 0671701061.
  • Herken, Gregg. Brotherhood of the Bomb: The Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller. New York: Henry Holt, 2002. ISBN 0805065881.
  • O'Neill, Dan. The Firecracker Boys. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994. ISBN 0312110863.
  • Rhodes, Richard. Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995. ISBN 068480400X.
  • Teller, Edward, with Judith L. Shoolery. Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Publishing, 2001. ISBN 073820532X.

Richard Rhodes (born July 4, 1937) is an American author of fiction and verity, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb in 1986, and most recently, John James Audubon: the Making of an American in 2004. ...

Further reading

Written by Teller

  • Our Nuclear Future; Facts, Dangers, and Opportunities (1958)
  • Basic Concepts of Physics (1960)
  • The Legacy of Hiroshima (1962)
  • Energy from Heaven and Earth (1979)
  • The Pursuit of Simplicity (1980)
  • Better a Shield Than a Sword: Perspectives on Defense and Technology (1987)
  • Conversations on the Dark Secrets of Physics (1991)
  • Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics (2001)

Books about Teller

  • William J. Broad, Teller’s war: the top-secret story behind the Star Wars deception (Simon & Schuster, 1992).
  • Gregg Herken, Brotherhood of the bomb: the tangled lives and loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence (Henry Holt, 2002).
  • Peter Goodchild, Edward Teller: the real Dr. Strangelove (Harvard University Press, 2005).

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Edward Teller
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Preceded by
Dwight Eisenhower
Time's Men of the Year (alongside Linus Pauling, Isidor Rabi, Joshua Lederberg, Donald A. Glaser, Willard Libby, Robert Woodward, Charles Draper, William Shockley, Emilio Segrè, John Enders, Charles Townes, George Beadle, James Van Allen and Edward Purcell representing U.S. Scientists)
1960
Succeeded by
John F. Kennedy
Persondata
NAME Teller, Edward
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Teller Ede (Hungarian)
SHORT DESCRIPTION Nuclear physicist and father of the hydrogen bomb
DATE OF BIRTH 15 January 1908
PLACE OF BIRTH Budapest, Austria-Hungary
DATE OF DEATH 9 September 2003
PLACE OF DEATH Stanford, California

 
 

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