Reflections on the Atomic Bomb
In the book ‘Great American Scientists’ by the editors of Fortune appears the statement, “Many physicists regard [Professor Wigner] as the most brilliant mind in U.S. physics today.” The Nobel Prize, it goes on to say, “cannot easily be given to one like Wigner whose deep insights have pointed the way to many advances, but who had made no single spectacular contribution of his own. ‘Quietly,’ says one admirer, ‘Wigner has done almost all of modern physics.’” In this fine essay Professor Wigner describes that epoch-making occasion which ushered in the Atomic Age, the first man-made nuclear chain reaction just 20 years ago, and goes on to evaluate in the light of history the speculations made and forebodings felt by the atomic scientists then. It originally appeared in the New York Times Magazine: copyright by the New York Times, reprinted by permission. — ED.
KeywordsFurnace Graphite Europe Uranium Coherence
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