the los alamos primer

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The Los Alamos Primer

Author : Robert Serber
ISBN : 0520075765
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 34. 86 MB
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The classified lectures that galvanized the Manhattan Project scientists--with annotations for the nonspecialist reader and an introduction by a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian. In March 1943 a group of young scientists, sequestered on a mesa near Santa Fe, attended a crash course in the new atomic physics. The lecturer was Robert Serber, J. Robert Oppenheimer's protg, and they learned that their job was to invent the world's first atomic bomb. Serber's lecture notes, nicknamed the "Los Alamos Primer," were mimeographed and passed from hand to hand, remaining classified for many years. They are published here for the first time, and now contemporary readers can see just how much was known and how terrifyingly much was unknown when the Manhattan Project began. Could this "gadget," based on the newly discovered principles of nuclear fission, really be designed and built? Could it be small enough and light enough for an airplane to carry? If it could be built, could it be controlled? Working with Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of the development of the atomic bomb, Professor Serber has annotated original lecture notes with explanations of the physics terms for the nonspecialist. His preface, an informal memoir, vividly conveys the mingled excitement, uncertainty, and intensity felt by the Manhattan Project scientists. Rhodes's introduction provides a brief history of the development of atomic physics up to the day that Serber stood before his blackboard at Los Alamos. In this edition, The Los Alamos Primer finally emerges from the archives to give a new understanding of the very beginning of nuclear weapons. No seminar anywhere has had greater historical consequences. The classified lectures that galvanized the Manhattan Project scientists--with annotations for the nonspecialist reader and an introduction by a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian. In March 1943 a group of young scientists, sequestered on a mesa near Santa Fe, attended a crash course in the new atomic physics. The lecturer was Robert Serber, J. Robert Oppenheimer's protg, and they learned that their job was to invent the world's first atomic bomb. Serber's lecture notes, nicknamed the "Los Alamos Primer," were mimeographed and passed from hand to hand, remaining classified for many years. They are published here for the first time, and now contemporary readers can see just how much was known and how terrifyingly much was unknown when the Manhattan Project began. Could this "gadget," based on the newly discovered principles of nuclear fission, really be designed and built? Could it be small enough and light enough for an airplane to carry? If it could be built, could it be controlled? Working with Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of the development of the atomic bomb, Professor Serber has annotated original lecture notes with explanations of the physics terms for the nonspecialist. His preface, an informal memoir, vividly conveys the mingled excitement, uncertainty, and intensity felt by the Manhattan Project scientists. Rhodes's introduction provides a brief history of the development of atomic physics up to the day that Serber stood before his blackboard at Los Alamos. In this edition, The Los Alamos Primer finally emerges from the archives to give a new understanding of the very beginning of nuclear weapons. No seminar anywhere has had greater historical consequences.

Particle Physics

Author : Necia Grant Cooper
ISBN : 0521347807
Genre : Science
File Size : 40. 73 MB
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This book explains the emergence of a profoundly new understanding of the fundamental forces of Nature.

Critical Assembly

Author : Lillian Hoddeson
ISBN : 0521541174
Genre : History
File Size : 79. 33 MB
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This 1993 book explores how the 'critical assembly' of scientists at Los Alamos created the first atomic bombs.

Inventing Los Alamos

Author : Jon Hunner
ISBN : 9780806181233
Genre : History
File Size : 61. 65 MB
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A social history of New Mexico’s “Atomic City” Los Alamos, New Mexico, birthplace of the Atomic Age, is the community that revolutionized modern weaponry and science. An “instant city,” created in 1943, Los Alamos quickly grew to accommodate six thousand people—scientists and experts who came to work in the top-secret laboratories, others drawn by jobs in support industries, and the families. How these people, as a community, faced both the fevered rush to create an atomic bomb and the intensity of the subsequent cold-war era is the focus of Jon Hunner’s fascinating narrative history. Much has been written about scientific developments at Los Alamos, but until this book little has been said about the community that fostered them. Using government records and the personal accounts of early residents, Inventing Los Alamos, traces the evolution of the town during its first fifteen years as home to a national laboratory and documents the town’s creation, the lives of the families who lived there, and the impact of this small community on the Atomic Age.

The Nuclear Muse

Author : John Canaday
ISBN : 0299168549
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 39. 83 MB
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John Canaday analyzes a variety of texts produced by physicists before, during, and after the Second World War, including Niels Bohr's "The Quantum Postulate"; theBlegdamsvej Faust, a parody of Goethe's Faust that cast physicists as its principle characters;The Los Alamos Primer, the technical lectures used for training at Los Alamos; scientists' descriptions of their work and of the Trinity test; and Leo Szilard's post-war novella,The Voice of the Dolphins.

Bomb Scare

Author : Joseph Cirincione
ISBN : 9780231509404
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 30. 59 MB
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Since their inception, nuclear weapons have multiplied at an alarming rate, leaving everyone from policymakers to concerned citizens wondering what it will take to slow, stop, or even reverse their spread. With clarity and expertise, Joseph Cirincione presents an even-handed look at the history of nuclear proliferation and an optimistic vision of its future, providing a comprehensive survey of the wide range of critical perspectives. Cirincione begins with the first atomic discoveries of the 1930s and covers the history of their growth all the way to current crisis with Iran. He unravels the science, strategy, and politics that have fueled the development of nuclear stockpiles and increased the chance of a nuclear terrorist attack. He also explains why many nations choose not to pursue nuclear weapons and pulls from this the outlines of a solution to the world's proliferation problem: a balance of force and diplomacy, enforcement and engagement that yields a steady decrease in these deadly arsenals. Though nuclear weapons have not been used in war since August 1945, there is no guarantee this good fortune will continue. A unique blend of history, theory, and security analysis, Bomb Scare is an engaging text that not only supplies the general reader and student with a clear understanding of this issue but also provides a set of tools policymakers and scholars can use to prevent the cataclysmic consequences of another nuclear attack.

109 East Palace

Author : Jennet Conant
ISBN : 9781416585428
Genre : History
File Size : 85. 15 MB
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From the bestselling author of Tuxedo Park, the fascinating story of the 3,000 people who lived together in near confinement for more than two intense and conflicted years under J. Robert Oppenheimer and the world's best scientists to produce the Atomic Bomb and win World War II. They were told as little as possible. Their orders were to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and report for work at a classified Manhattan Project site, a location so covert it was known to them only by the mysterious address: 109 East Palace. There, behind a wrought-iron gate and narrow passageway just off the touristy old plaza, they were greeted by Dorothy McKibbin, an attractive widow who was the least likely person imaginable to run a front for a clandestine defense laboratory. They stepped across her threshold into a parallel universe--the desert hideaway where Robert Oppenheimer and a team of world-famous scientists raced to build the first atomic bomb before Germany and bring World War II to an end. Brilliant, handsome, extraordinarily charismatic, Oppenheimer based his unprecedented scientific enterprise in the high reaches of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, hoping that the land of enchantment would conceal and inspire their bold mission. Oppenheimer was as arrogant as he was inexperienced, and few believed the thirty-eight-year-old theoretical physicist would succeed. Jennet Conant captures all the exhilaration and drama of those perilous twenty-seven months at Los Alamos, a secret city cut off from the rest of society, ringed by barbed wire, where Oppenheimer and his young recruits lived as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government. With her dry humor and eye for detail, Conant chronicles the chaotic beginnings of Oppenheimer's by-the-seat-of-his-pants operation, where freshly minted secretaries and worldly scientists had to contend with living conditions straight out of pioneer days. Despite all the obstacles, Oppie managed to forge a vibrant community at Los Alamos through the sheer force of his personality. Dorothy, who fell for him at first sight, devoted herself to taking care of him and his crew and supported him through the terrifying preparations for the test explosion at Trinity and the harrowing aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Less than a decade later, Oppenheimer became the focus of suspicion during the McCarthy witch hunts. When he and James B. Conant, one of the top administrators of the Manhattan Project (and the author's grandfather), led the campaign against the hydrogen bomb, Oppenheimer's past left-wing sympathies were used against him, and he was found to be a security risk and stripped of his clearance. Though Dorothy tried to help clear his name, she saw the man she loved disgraced. In this riveting and deeply moving account, drawing on a wealth of research and interviews with close family and colleagues, Jennet Conant reveals an exceptionally gifted and enigmatic man who served his country at tremendous personal cost and whose singular achievement, and subsequent undoing, is at the root of our present nuclear predicament.

A Monte Carlo Primer

Author : Stephen A. Dupree
ISBN : 0306467488
Genre : Science
File Size : 86. 87 MB
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This book introduces the reader to the use of Monte Carlo methods for solving practical problems in radiation transport, and will also serve as a reference work for practitioners in the field. It assumes the reader has a general knowledge of calculus and radiation physics, and a knowledge of Fortran programming, but assumes no prior knowledge of stochastic methods or statistical physics. The subject is presented by a combination of theoretical development and practical calculations. Because Monte Carlo methods are closely linked to the use of computers, from the beginning the reader is taught to convert the theoretical constructs developed in the text into functional software for use on a personal computer. Example problems provide the reader with an in-depth understanding of the concepts presented and lead to the production of a unique learning tool, a probabilistic framework code that models in a simple manner the features of production of Monte Carlo transport codes. This framework code is developed in stages such that every function is understood, tested, and demonstrated - random sampling, generating random numbers, implementing geometric models, using variance reduction, tracking particles in a random walk, testing the thoroughness with which the problem phase space is sampled, scoring detectors, and obtaining estimates of uncertainty in results. Advanced topics covered include criticality, correlated sampling, adjoint transport, and neutron thermalization. Monte Carlo codes can produce highly precise wrong answers. The probability of this occurring is increased if production codes are run as opaque, `black boxes' of software. This text attempts to make Monte Carlo into a comprehensible, usable tool for solving practical transport problems. It is suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate students and researchers who wish to expand their knowledge of the Monte Carlo technique.

The Curve Of Binding Energy

Author : John McPhee
ISBN : 9780374708610
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 20. 54 MB
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Theodore Taylor was one of the most brilliant engineers of the nuclear age, but in his later years he became concerned with the possibility of an individual being able to construct a weapon of mass destruction on their own. McPhee tours American nuclear institutions with Taylor and shows us how close we are to terrorist attacks employing homemade nuclear weaponry.

Brotherhood Of The Bomb

Author : Gregg Herken
ISBN : 9781466851559
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 69. 44 MB
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The fascinating story of the men who founded the nuclear age, fully told for the first time The story of the twentieth century is largely the story of the power of science and technology. Within that story is the incredible tale of the human conflict between Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller-the scientists most responsible for the advent of weapons of mass destruction. How did science-and its practitioners-enlisted in the service of the state during the Second World War, become a slave to its patron during the Cold War? The story of these three men, builders of the bombs, is fundamentally about loyalty-to country, to science, and to each other-and about the wrenching choices that had to be made when these allegiances came into conflict. Gregg Herken gives us the behind-the-scenes account based upon a decade of research, interviews, and newly released Freedom of Information Act and Russian documents. Brotherhood of the Bomb is a vital slice of American history told authoritatively-and grippingly-for the first time.

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