Oral history of British science

Rotblat, Joseph (12 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 12: JR left Los Alamos in Dec 44, describes his journey via visit to Chadwicks in Washington and then by troup ship from N.Y. to Cardif. He left all his books and notes with Chadwick's military assistant who was to put it in box and forward by boat . JR arrived in Cardif in Jan. 45 and story why his box never arrived - he believes he was still watched by security. JR went back to Liverpool to teach at the University. In 1951 he got invitation to attend nuclear physics conference in Chicago but was refused USA visa but thanks to intervention by Eric Welsh he got visa (time of McArthur). JR very upset about loss of his box of all books and notes. JR rebuilt physics department in Liverpool, did teaching and research but not on bomb. JR now talks about what happened to his family in Poland after 45. Story of his younger brother who eventually came to England with his Russian wife and the letter of his sister who tells the story how they managed to survive, and how they came to England. And the story how eventually he found out what happened to his wife who died in Treblinka extermination camp. JR decided not to go back to Poland as it was now under Russian rule and he could not live under communist regime. Decided to stay in U.K. and why that pleased the government.

  • 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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