Oral history of British science

Rotblat, Joseph (9 of 40). National Life Stories Collection: General

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  • Interviewees

    Rotblat, Joseph, 1908-2005 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Thompson, Katherine (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 9: Talk about problems of life in Los Alamos. JR is still unhappy working for the atom bomb, realising the enormous financial effort needed by U.S., he thinks the Germans could not do it and also unhappy about rumour that main purpose is to dominate Russia. JR talks about Niels Bohr who joined Los Alamos as adviser, JR respects his views as he too would like to prevent arms race with Russia, suggested collaboration under international control, convinced Roosevelt but Churchill did not agree. More about Niels Bohr, Churchill and Lord Charwell. Fuchs, who worked with Peierls in New York later also joined Los Alamos in August 44. JR now talks about his wife and his efforts to bring her out of Poland and why it did not succeed. Her last letter was from Dec.40. Rumour about what was happening to the Jews added to JR's depression which affected his work. More about his work and how he got exposed to radiation while working with cyclotron. He was sick and got medical check.

  • Description

    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.

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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