Chapter

Introduction: The Silent Quake

in The Pontecorvo Affair

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780226816647
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226816661 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226816661.003.0001
Introduction: The Silent Quake

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Bruno Pontecorvo was a scientist, who disappeared with his family in Finland during a holiday trip. More information was gathered about his location (Soviet Russia) in the following months. Pontecorvo was the first and only scientist employed in wartime nuclear projects who in the 1950s crossed the Iron Curtain. His disappearance developed a seismic wave that could be clearly determined by those in the know. In line with this, this book tries to employ the Pontecorvo affair to open the debate on the present understanding of the relation between nuclear science, security, and politics in the early days of the Cold War. It specifically explores Pontecorvo's life and career in combination with developments in nuclear science and technology, and the changes in the setting up of security regulations and practices. An overview of the chapters included in the book is finally given.

Keywords: Bruno Pontecorvo; Soviet Russia; Iron Curtain; Cold War; nuclear science; security regulations; politics

Chapter.  4953 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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