Oral history of British science
Rotblat, Joseph (14 of 40). National Life Stories Collection: General
The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
Legal and ethical usage »
Rotblat, Joseph, 1908-2005 (speaker, male)
Thompson, Katherine (speaker, female)
Part 14: Technique to detect radiation (by photographic emulsion) was developed by Powell in Bristol. JR was in charge of panel for this technique, including Alan May (??) who was a spy, defected to Russia and was exposed. JR developed more sensitive emulsion. JR worked with Powell to study nuclear energy levels, explains, JR decided to work as physicist with doctors, explains how to detect radioactive isotopes in body using radioactive iodine. Describes method. He was also involved in research on bacteria using radioactive isotopes. Decided to apply for chair in medical physics at Barts. Gives reasons why Chadwick warned him. Parallel with his work he helped to set up Atomic Scientist Association, The Association of Scientific Workers existed but was a communist organisation and he therefore objected to their cooperation. Peierls was back from Los Alamos. The new body was formed and to make it respectable other scientists were invited, e.g. Lord Charwell, Herbert Skinner, Cecil Powell, Blackett, Cockcroft. They all joined. Aims of the society: 1. to educate the public and 2. to help shape Government policy on atomic work. Some people wanted to supply Russians with atomic information e.g. Fuchs!
Nobel Peace Prize-winner and nuclear physicist Joseph Rotblat in conversation about his life and work. A key figure in the development of the atomic bomb, he left the US government's Manhattan Project once it became apparent that Nazi Germany did not have the capability to build a bomb of its own.