EDWARD TELLER - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 02/21/1950 - HFSID 154630
Sale Price $1,020.00
EDWARD TELLERThe Hungarian physicist signed this typed letter to a fellow science professor TLS: "Edward Teller", 1p, 8½x11. University of California, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Los Alamos, N.M., 1950 February 21.To Prof. Harald H. Nielsen, Chairman, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio State University. In part: "Very good young people are urgently needed at Los Alamos. It is my opinion that this urgency now is greater than it was during the war when government laboratories have been over-supplied with talent. We have quite sufficient number of people here but much too few who are outstanding and can assume leadership. I can also assure you or any possible candidates with whom you may be talking that the work ahead of us here is most interesting and will make out of any good physicist, a better physicist. I should be very greatly obliged to you if you would discuss this possibility with some of the really promising young men at your place and if you could let me know of anyone who is very good and who also might be interested in coming to work with us during this period of stress…." Edward Teller (1908-2003), often referred to as the “Father of the Hydrogen Bomb”, was born in Hungary and educated in Germany before fleeing the Nazis. He worked on the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic (fission) bomb, but was already looking forward to the even greater power which might be unleashed by nuclear fusion. Teller influenced U.S. Presidents of both parties with his advocacy of nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, and the Strategic DefenseInitiative. Teller made headlines in 1954 when he testified that he, personally, did not trust nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer enough to renew his security clearance. As a result of this hearing, Oppenheimer, another one of the pioneering scientists behind nuclear weapons, had his United States security clearance revoked. In his memoirs, Teller observed: "I deeply regret the deaths and injuries that resulted from the atomic bombings, but my best explanation of why I do not regret working on weapons is a question: What if we hadn't?" In January 1950, President Truman presented Teller's work on the hydrogen bomb to his advisors and asked them one question, "Can the Soviets do this?" His advisors believed the Soviets could eventually develop a hydrogen bomb, and Truman decided to go ahead with its development, ordering the Atomic Energy Commission to develop the H-bomb. This decision triggered the expansion of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. This letter from Dr. Teller was written just a month after Truman's decision. The United States exploded the H-bomb in November 1952 at the Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific. Staple holes at upper left. 2, pinhead-size stains at lower left border. Lightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition.
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