Oral history of British science

Rotblat, Joseph (19 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 19: JR developed system for measuring dose of radiation and explains how this was done. Discusses effect of radiation of food. He became chief editor of the journal 'Physics in medicine and biology' and later President of the British Institute of Radiology. With being member of too many committees he had less time for work at the College. JR discusses his worry about nuclear testing, the Americans developing the H bomb - the first test which caused a fallout which hit Japanese fishing vessel. BBC did a Panorama programme on the H-bomb and ask JR for some aspects of physics - an he explained difference between fission bomb and H-bomb. He met Bertrand Russell who liked his explanation. In 1954 was the first congress on radiation biology where he met Japanese physicist who presented data on fallout on fishing vessels. Data caused JR thinking about reasons for increase in radiation.

  • 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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