London, United Kingdom, February 01, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- He was a staunch advocate of nuclear power and also of a strong defence policy, calling for the development of advanced thermonuclear weapons.
In 1939, Teller was an integral part of the group of scientists that invented the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project. He was also the co-founder of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where, following President Harry Truman’s order in 1950, he developed the hydrogen bomb, along with fellow scientists including Ernest Lawrence and Luis Alvarez.
In order to tell his story in his own words, Teller recorded, just seven years before his death, a compelling narrative on a vast array of personal and professional subjects from unhappy school memories, his first taste of success as a scientist, attending a lecture by Einstein and emigrating to America. He goes on to offer captivating insights into the indecision regarding how the hydrogen bomb could be created, his theories on the use of nuclear weapons and eye-opening details of the J. Robert Oppenheimer hearing. The result is a range of captivating short stories ranging in length between a few seconds and several minutes, all with a fully searchable transcript.
One of the stories captures his reflections on President Truman’s decision to create the hydrogen bomb and the reaction of fellow scientists:
"[Senator] McBain told me, 'Here is the recent report of the advisors to the Atomic Energy Commission… It makes me sick. Can the hydrogen bomb be made?' I did not have to convince him. He was convinced, but he did not know what the subject was. I told him, I told him in detail and within a few weeks President Truman's decision was made public early in 1950: go ahead with all forms of nuclear explosives, including the so-called super-bomb."
He also muses on his decision to turn his back on other scientists, all of whom were fierce critics of the hydrogen bomb:
"I did break the unanimity of the scientists and, had I not done so, it may well have happened that our work would never have started… It well may have developed in such a way that the Soviet Union would have gotten far ahead of us in developing nuclear explosives... I have been attacked for the very point of advocating strongly the hydrogen bomb. Even recently I have been asked, aren’t you sorry that you did so? And to that question I have a simple answer: I am not sorry…I had to work on it and I am glad I did."
During his lifetime, Teller published more than a dozen books on subjects ranging from energy policy to defence issues. Among the honours he received were the Albert Einstein Award, the National Medal of Science, The Enrico Fermi Award and, shortly before his death in 2003, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civil honour in America, during a special ceremony conducted by President George W. Bush at the White House. He even had an asteroid named after him, 5006 Teller.
All the videos of Edward Teller are easy to share with friends and colleagues, and are free for embedding into personal blogs and websites.