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The Rockefeller Fellowship and marriage (Part 1)


Moving to England
Edward Teller Scientist
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Many of us knew we had to leave Germany now but how? And a man was extremely helpful in that; was James Franck. He had invited two excellent British scientists. One was Lindemann, who became advisor of Churchill. The other was a biochemist, Donnan, who studied the transfer of materials across membranes. For instance, why we, in our intestines, let some foodstuffs pass through and stop others. Called the Donnan Equilibrium, whose main point is that it's a selection and not an equilibrium. Well, Franck got these two people together with some of us and we thereupon got invitations from some of them, from both of them. I got two invitations and one of them, from Donnan said- Come to England at once for a few days. I can't offer you anything but I want to talk with you. Visit me. So I did. And we talked for a couple of days, three days, at the end of which Donnan said- You know, I think it would be quite good if you came to England but I can't invite you, unless you do one thing further. In one respect I find you are uneducated. Here is a book, if you read it, I'll invite you. The title of the book was "Alice in Wonderland". I read it and I also read "Alice Through the Looking Glass" and I got the invitation. Donnan was a wonderful man. He had got out of Germany a number of us and one little detail, while working with his people in his laboratory, was that we had a party once a week where the language was German. That, of course, was possibly a little help to those of the Britishers who want to learn German. But in a way, was in- kind of very nice compliment, very nice You're Welcome to those of us who came from Germany.

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: 3 minutes, 41 seconds

Date story recorded: June 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008