Edward Teller, High Priest of Physics

Mary Palevsky

in Atomic Fragments

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2000 | ISBN: 9780520220553
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520923652 | DOI:
Edward Teller, High Priest of Physics

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On December 1, 1995, the author traveled to Stanford University to meet with Edward Teller at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, and immediately had two reactions on meeting him. First, she felt intimidated and dared not to interrupt him, and second, that he seemed intent on persuading her of the rightness of his view. This chapter presents Teller's views on the defense budget allocated on the atomic bomb; his regrets on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima; his links with Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and Leo Szilard; his views on Nazism and Communism; an argument for the continued development of weapons after the cold war; and the enemies of science. In some ways, the author found the controversial “father of the hydrogen bomb” intense, uncompromising, and opinionated, but he also possessed a good sense of humor.

Keywords: Edward Teller; Stanford University; Hiroshima; atomic bombing; Robert Oppenheimer; nuclear physics; hydrogen bomb

Chapter.  12269 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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