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Encyclopedia > Joseph Rotblat
Professor Sir Joseph (born Józef) Rotblat KCMG CBE FRS
Joseph Rotblat's ID badge photo from Los Alamos, 1944.
Joseph Rotblat's ID badge photo from Los Alamos, 1944.
Born 4 November 1908
Warsaw, Poland
Died 31 August 2005 (aged 96)
London
Residence Poland until 1938, United Kingdom afterwards
Nationality Polish, British
Field Physicist
Institutions Radiological Laboratory of Scientific Society of Warsaw 1933-1937; Free University of Poland 1937-1939; University of Liverpool, 1939-1949; St Bartholomew's Hospital, London 1949-1976.
Alma mater MA Free University of Poland 1931; Doctor of Physics, University of Warsaw 1938; PhD University of Liverpool 1950.
Known for Medical physics; campaigner for the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
Notable prizes Albert Einstein Peace Prize 1992; Nobel Peace Prize 1995.
Religion Humanist

Sir Joseph Rotblat, KCMG, CBE, FRS, (4 November 190831 August 2005) was a Polish-born British-naturalised physicist. His work on nuclear fall-out was a major contribution to the agreement of the Partial Test Ban Treaty. A signatory of the Russell-Einstein manifesto, he was secretary general of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs from its founding until 1973. In conjunction with the Pugwash Conferences, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 for their efforts towards nuclear disarmament. Image File history File links Josef_Rotblat_ID_badge. ... Los Alamos National Laboratory, aerial view from 1995. ... November 4 is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Motto: Contemnit procellas (It defies the storms) Semper invicta (Always invincible) Coordinates: , Country Poland Voivodeship Masovia Powiat city county Gmina Warszawa Districts 18 boroughs City Rights turn of the 13th century Government  - Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz (PO) Area  - City 516. ... is the 243rd day of the year (244th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Humanism[1] is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities—particularly rationality. ... On the Orders insignia, St Michael is often depicted subduing Satan. ... The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority, these are Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross (GBE) Knight Commander... The Fellowship of the Royal Society was founded in 1660. ... November 4 is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... is the 243rd day of the year (244th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Articles with similar titles include physician, a person who practices medicine. ... The Russell-Einstein Manifesto was issued in London on July 9, 1955 by Bertrand Russell in the midst of the Cold War. ... Pugwash encounter and tour held at the National Accelerator Laboratory, now Fermilab, September 12, 1970. ... Lester B. Pearson after accepting the Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize (Swedish and Norwegian: Nobels fredspris) is the name of one of five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. ... Nuclear disarmament is the proposed undeployment and dismantling of nuclear weapons, particularly those of the United States and the Soviet Union (later Russia) targeted on each other. ...

Contents

Early life

Rotblat was born Józef Rotblat in Warsaw, the fifth of seven children to a paper merchant. His father's business was ruined by World War I, and the family was reduced to selling vodka they illegally distilled.[1] Despite not receiving a formal education and working as a domestic electrician, he managed to win a free place in the physics department of the Free University of Poland, studying in the evenings, and then a position as a junior demonstrator. He received a MA in 1932 and became a Research Fellow at the Radiological Laboratory of Scientific Society of Warsaw in 1933. He became Assistant Director of the Atomic Physics Institute at the Free University of Poland in 1937 and became Doctor of Physics at the University of Warsaw in 1938. Motto: Contemnit procellas (It defies the storms) Semper invicta (Always invincible) Coordinates: , Country Poland Voivodeship Masovia Powiat city county Gmina Warszawa Districts 18 boroughs City Rights turn of the 13th century Government  - Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz (PO) Area  - City 516. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Vodka bottling machine, Shatskaya Vodka Shatsk, Russia Vodka is one of the worlds most consumed distilled beverages. ... An electrician hooking up a generator to a homes electrical panel. ... The first few hydrogen atom electron orbitals shown as cross-sections with color-coded probability density Physics (Greek: (phúsis), nature and (phusiké), knowledge of nature) is the branch of science concerned with the discovery and characterization of universal laws which govern matter, energy, space, and time. ... A B.A. issused as a certificate A degree is any of a wide range of status levels conferred by institutions of higher education, such as universities, normally as the result of successfully completing a program of study. ... University of Warsaw (Polish: ) is the largest university in Poland. ...


In early 1939, he went to the University of Liverpool to work with Sir James Chadwick, the discoverer of the neutron. He worked mainly on the energy of neutrons emitted during the fission of uranium nuclei. In August 1939 Chadwick offered Rotblat the Oliver Lodge Fellowship, [2] and he became a lecturer in 1940. Because his initial stipend was small, he had left his wife, Tola Gryn, and young son in Poland.[3] In the summer of 1939, shortly before Germany invaded Poland to begin World War II, he returned to Poland to bring his wife to England, but she was recovering from appendicitis and could not travel. He returned alone two days before the German invasion, and never saw her again. He never remarried. The University of Liverpool is a university in the city of Liverpool, England. ... Sir James Chadwick Sir James Chadwick (20 October 1891 – 24 July 1974) was an English physicist and Nobel laureate. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge (June 12, 1851 - August 22, 1940), born at Penkhull in Stoke-on-Trent and educated at Adams Grammar School, was a physicist and writer involved in the development of the wireless telegraph. ... Lecturer is a term of academic rank. ... 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...


The Manhattan Project

While still in Poland, Rotblat had realised that his work could be used to produce a bomb. He first thought that he should "put the whole thing out of my mind",[3] but with the rise of Nazi Germany he felt he must continue he felt that the only way to prevent it from using a nuclear bomb was if Britain also had one to act as a deterrent. After the start of the war, he starting working explicitly with Chadwick on bomb work.[3]


Early in 1944 Rotblat went with Chadwick's group to work on the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bombs. The usual condition for people to work on the Manhattan Project was that they had to become U.S. citizens or British subjects. Rotblat declined and the condition was waived. [1] He continued to have strong reservations about the use of science to develop such a devastating weapon and was shocked in March 1944, at a private dinner at the Chadwicks, to hear Leslie Groves say "Of course, the real purpose in making the bomb was to subdue the Soviets".[3] By the end of 1944 it was also apparent that Germany had abandoned the development of its own bomb and Rotblat asked to leave the project. Chadwick was then shown a security dossier in which Rotblat was accused of being a Soviet spy and that, having learnt to fly at Los Alamos, he was suspected of wanting to join the Royal Air Force so that he could fly to Poland and defect to the Soviet Union. [4][2] In addition, he was accused of visiting someone in Santa Fe and leaving them a blank cheque to finance the formation of a communist cell. [3] This page is about the World War II nuclear project. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ... Leslie Groves Leslie Richard Groves (August 17, 1896 – July 13, 1970) was a United States Army officer who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and was the primary military leader in charge of the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb during World War II. Descended from French Huguenots who... Soviet redirects here. ... The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... Santa Fe (Spanish for holy faith) or Santa Fé (Portuguese) is the name of a number of places in the world: United States of America: Santa Fe, the state capital of New Mexico Santa Fe, Florida Santa Fe, Missouri Santa Fe, Tennessee Santa Fe, Texas Rancho Santa Fe, California It... Example of a Canadian cheque. ...


In fact, Rotblat was able to show that much of the information within the dossier had been fabricated. [3] In addition, FBI records show that in 1950, Rotblat's friend in Santa Fe was tracked down in California, and she flatly denied the story: in fact, the cheque had never been cashed and had been left to pay for items not available in the U.K. during the war. Despite this, Rotblat was not permitted to enter the United States until 1964.[3] In addition, on departure from New York, his research notes and correspondence disappeared.[4][2] Rotblat was the only physicist to leave the Manhattan Project on the grounds of conscience, though others later refused to work on atomic bombs after the defeat of Japan.


Work on nuclear fall-out

Rotblat returned to Britain to become senior lecturer and acting director of research of nuclear physics at Liverpool University. He decided not to return to communist Poland and naturalised as a British subject[5] and was joined by his mother, sister, and one of his brothers. [6] He felt betrayed by the use of atomic weapons against Japan, and campaigned for a three year moratorium of all atomic research.[3] Rotblat was determined that his research should have only peaceful ends, and so became interested in the medical and biological uses of radiation. In 1949 he became Professor of Physics at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, shortly before receiving his PhD from Liverpool in 1950. He also worked on several official bodies connected with nuclear physics, and arranged a major travelling exhibition for schools on civil nuclear energy, the Atom Train. The King Henry VIII Gate at Barts, which was constructed in 1702. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


At St Bartholemew's Rotblat worked on the effects of radiation on living organisms, especially on ageing and fertility. This led him to an interest in nuclear fallout, especially Strontium 90 and the safe limits of ionising radiation.[2] In 1955, he demonstrated that the contamination caused by the fall-out after the Castle Bravo test at Bikini Atoll nuclear test by the United States would have been far greater than that stated officially. Until then the official line had been that the growth in the strength of atomic bombs was not accompanied by an equivalent growth in radiation released. Japanese scientists who had collected data from a fishing vessel, the Lucky Dragon, which had inadvertently been exposed to fall-out, disagreed with this. Rotblat was able to deduce that the bomb had three stages and showed that the fission phase at the end of the explosion increased the amount of radioactivity by a thousand-fold. Rotblat's paper was taken up by the media, and contributed to the public debate that resulted in the ending of atmospheric tests by the Partial Test Ban Treaty. General Name, Symbol, Number strontium, Sr, 38 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 5, s Appearance silvery white metallic Atomic mass 87. ... Fallout is the residual radiation hazard from a nuclear explosion, so named because it falls out of the atmosphere into which it is spread during the explosion. ... A black-and-white photograph of the Castle Bravo mushroom cloud. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Preparation for an underground nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site in the 1980s. ... Daigo Fukuryū Maru Lucky Dragon No. ... 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...


Peace work

Rotblat believed that scientists should always be concerned with the ethical consequences of their work. He became one of the most prominent critics of the nuclear arms race, was the youngest signatory of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto in 1955, and chaired the press conference that launched it. After the positive coverage of the manifesto, Cyrus Eaton offered to fund the influential Pugwash Conferences. With Bertrand Russell and others he organised the first one of these in 1957 and continued to work within their framework until his death. Despite the Iron Curtain and the Cold War, he advocated establishing links between scientists from the West and East. For this reason the Pugwash conferences were viewed with suspicion. Initially, the British government viewed the conferences as little more than “Communist front gatherings”.[7] However, he persuaded J.D. Cockcroft, a member of Britain’s Atomic Energy Authority, to suggest who might be invited to the 1958 conference. He successfully resisted a subsequent attempt to take over the conferences,[7] causing a Foreign Office official to write that “the difficulty is to get Prof. Rotblat to pay any attention to what we think. . . . He is no doubt jealous of his independence and scientific integrity” and that securing “a new organizer for the British delegation seems to be the first need, but I do not know if there is any hope of this". By the early 1960's the Ministry of Defence thought the Pugwash Conferences were "“now a very respectable organization” and the Foreign Office stated that it had "official blessing" and that any breakthrough may well originate at such gatherings.[7] In parallel with the Pugwash Conferences, Rotblat also joined with Einstein, Oppenheimer, Russell and other concerned scientists to found the World Academy of Art and Science which was proposed by them in the mid-1950s and formally constituted in 1960. After the breakthrough of the Partial Test Ban Treaty, Rotblat was made a CBE in 1965. U.S. and USSR/Russian nuclear weapons stockpiles, 1945-2006. ... The Russell-Einstein Manifesto was issued in London on July 9, 1955 by Bertrand Russell in the midst of the Cold War. ... Eaton on the cover of Time, 1930 Cyrus Stephen Eaton (December 27, 1883–May 9, 1979) was a Canadian-American financier, industrialist and philanthropist. ... Pugwash encounter and tour held at the National Accelerator Laboratory, now Fermilab, September 12, 1970. ... Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician and advocate for social reform. ... Warsaw Pact countries to the east of the Iron Curtain are shaded red; NATO members to the west of it — blue. ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Whitehall, seen from St. ... The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and the headquarters of the British Armed Forces. ... The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Whitehall, seen from St. ... The World Academy of Art and Science (WASS) is an informal and non-official international network of individual fellows elected for distinguishing accomplishments in the fields of natural and social sciences, arts and the humanities. ... The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority, these are Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross (GBE) Knight Commander...


Later work

Rotblat retired from St Bartholemew's in 1976. He thought that scientists have an individual moral responsibility, and just as the Hippocratic Oath provides a code of conduct for physicians, he thought that scientists should have their own code of moral conduct. He nominated Mordechai Vanunu, who had disclosed the extent of Israel's nuclear weapons programme and spent 18 years in prison, including more than 11 years in solitary confinement, for the Nobel Peace Prize every year from 1988 to 2004 when he was president of the Pugwash conferences. A twelfth-century Byzantine manuscript of the Oath in the form of a cross The Hippocratic Oath is an oath traditionally taken by physicians pertaining to the ethical practice of medicine. ... Mordechai Vanunu in the garden of St. ... Solitary confinement, colloquially referred to as the hole (or in British English the block), is a punishment in which a prisoner is denied contact with any other persons, excluding guards, chaplains and doctors. ... Lester B. Pearson after accepting the Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize (Swedish and Norwegian: Nobels fredspris) is the name of one of five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. ...


He constantly campaigned against nuclear weapons and thought in 2004 that the Russell-Einstein Manifesto still " has great relevance today, after 50 years, particularly in connection with the election of a president in the United States" and the policies of the United States and others with respect to pre-emptive use and towards North Korea and Iran.[8][9] Central to his view of the world were the words of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto with which he concluded his acceptance lecture for the Nobel prize:[9] Above all, remember your humanity. Nobel Prize medal. ...


Rotblat was appointed CBE in 1965 and knighted a KCMG in 1998. He won the Albert Einstein Peace Prize in 1992 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1995. He was Editor-in-Chief of the journal 'Physics in Medicine and Biology' and president of several institutions and professional associations. He was also co-founder and member of governing board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and a member of the Advisory Committee on Medical Research of the World Health Organization. The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority, these are Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross (GBE) Knight Commander... On the Orders insignia, St Michael is often depicted subduing Satan. ... The Albert Einstein Peace Prize is given yearly by the Chicago-based Albert Einstein Peace Prize Foundation. ... The premises of The Royal Society in London (first four properties only). ... Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) was founded in 1966 to commemorate 150 years of unbroken peace in Sweden. ... The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. ...


Footnotes

  1. ^ a b [1]Obituary, The Daily Telegraph 2 September 2005
  2. ^ a b c d [2]Obituary, The Times 2 September 2005
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Irwin Abrhams [3]
  4. ^ a b Alan Salmon, Insight, p.15, University of Liverpool (2006)
  5. ^ [4]Nobel Prize Curriculum Vitae
  6. ^ [5]Peace pledge biography
  7. ^ a b c [6]The Political Rehabilitation of Joseph Rotblat, Lawrence S. Wittner, George Mason's University History News Network (2005)
  8. ^ [7] Interview with TheCommunity.com (2004)
  9. ^ [8] New Year message 2005

Founded in 1999 as a portal for non-profit organizations, TheCommunity. ...

External links

Persondata
NAME Rotblat, Joseph
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Rotblat, Józef (birth name)
SHORT DESCRIPTION Polish-born British-naturalised physicist
DATE OF BIRTH 4 November 1908
PLACE OF BIRTH Warsaw, Poland
DATE OF DEATH 31 August 2005
PLACE OF DEATH London, England

  Results from FactBites:
 
Joseph Rotblat (650 words)
Joseph Rotblat, born in Warsaw in 1908, obtained his M.A. from the Free University of Poland in 1932 and a doctorate in Physics from the University of Warsaw where in 1937 he became assistant director of the Atom Physics Institute.
Joseph Rotblat became the first Secretary General of the organization.
In 1995, fifty years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Joseph Rotblat and the Pugwash Conferences were awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
Joseph Rotblat, won Nobel Prize for nuclear arms fight - The Boston Globe (667 words)
LONDON -- Joseph Rotblat, who was the only scientist to resign from the Manhattan Project and later received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to rid the world of atomic weapons, has died at the age of 96, his spokesman said yesterday.
Rotblat, who was born in Warsaw and became a British citizen in 1946, died peacefully in his sleep in London on Wednesday night, the group said.
Rotblat's penchant for holding science accountable began early in his career, when he was a part of the Manhattan Project that was seeking to build an atomic bomb.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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