Mobilizing Science in World War II: Yoshio Nishina

  • Morris Low


We saw, in chapter 1, how the Japanese physicist was shaped by both social and cultural factors. Indeed, the samurai “spirit” can be considered a cultural resource, a construct, which Japanese used in both peacetime and in war. World War II provides a useful window to how physicists negotiated their multiple identities and sometimes conflicting loyalties. In this chapter, we focus on Yoshio Nishina, who effectively mentored a whole generation of physicists. He is also considered the father of the Japanese atomic bomb. Although Nishina’s lab lacked equipment and materials to pursue the study of the artificial disintegration of the elements, he wrote

we cannot help to be tempted to do this sort of experiments, because there are so many problems which are awaiting their solution. It is quite possible that we come too late, but that does not matter, it is the way to their solution which interests us.1


Atomic Bomb Nuclear Fission Uranium Hexafluoride Military Research Meson Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Morris Low 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morris Low
    • 1
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins UniversityUSA

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