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The Oppenheimer hearings (Part 2)


The Oppenheimer hearings (Part 1)
Edward Teller Scientist
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Unfortunately, early in this development there was a political action that I think managed to make relations within the scientific community much more difficult. A series of events which hurt me personally more than anything else in my life, by separating me from many, maybe from most of my scientific colleagues, and that was the question of the clearance of Oppenheimer. I want to tell you how I first heard about it. Livermore had started and the Atomic Energy Commission had a new chairman, a man with whom I got acquainted, who turned out to be a great supporter, Admiral Louis Strauss. He became an admiral in the Second World War. He was a friend of President Eisenhower and he was given the job of chairing the Atomic Energy Commission and Livermore had its very welcome full support. I had appointment with him in Washington.

The late Hungarian-American physicist Edward Teller helped to develop the atomic bomb and provided the theoretical framework for the hydrogen bomb. During his long and sometimes controversial career he was a staunch advocate of nuclear power and also of a strong defence policy, calling for the development of advanced thermonuclear weapons.

Listeners: John H. Nuckolls

John H. Nuckolls was Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1988 to 1994. He joined the Laboratory in 1955, 3 years after its establishment, with a masters degree in physics from Columbia. He rose to become the Laboratory's Associate Director for Physics before his appointment as Director in 1988.

Nuckolls, a laser fusion and nuclear weapons physicist, helped pioneer the use of computers to understand and simulate physics phenomena at extremes of temperature, density and short time scales. He is internationally recognised for his work in the development and control of nuclear explosions and as a pioneer in the development of laser fusion.

Duration: 2 minutes, 4 seconds

Date story recorded: June 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008