Nuclear Energy pp 400-412 | Cite as

New Ideas for Nuclear Reactors

  • E. P. Wigner
Part of the The Collected Works of Eugene Paul Wigner book series (WIGNER, volume A / 5)


Many of you know that your speaker tonight is an old-timer in the field of nuclear energy. Now, an old-timer is a man who was in a field when the field was still undiscovered by most so that he was, comparatively speaking, isolated and lonesome in that field. He feels a bit baffled and uneasy now when he looks around and realizes his success in having made his field popular, and realizes even more keenly his failure to keep familiar with the events in his field. When the first newcomer arrived, and wrote a report, he said, “Now, this Mr. Read, he is evidently a very bright person, but if you look at the report that my friend Y wrote three years ago, you will find that he anticipated Mr. Read in almost everything.” When the next report, by Mr. Yellow, came out, he said, “Now this Mr. Yellow, he impresses me very much, but if you read my report of last year, you will realize that I must have known all that he says.” At the news of Mr. Greene’s ideas he says, “Now this Mr. Greene, I do not know how bright he is, but he does have a good point there.” I do not know why we did not think of it. “A year or something that nobody appreciated before.” But finally, when the old-timer looked at Violet’s report, he admits, “I just can’t read or understand all this work that goes on hereit is just too much for me.”


Fuel Element Nuclear Energy Heavy Water Thermal Flux Reactor Engineer 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

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  • E. P. Wigner

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