Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Citizen Kurchatov: Stalin's Bomb Maker

 

Klaus Fuchs

Edward Teller, the physicist credited as the father of the hydrogen bomb, claimed that the information Klaus Fuchs supplied the Soviets saved them as much as ten years of research and development. However, the CIA estimated only one or two.

Klaus Fuchs fled Germany before the war because he was associated with communist political organizations. After he fled to England, he earned his doctorate and began his research in nuclear physics. He was eventually invited into the British atomic bomb project.

During his time in the Manhattan Project and afterwards working in the British nuclear energy program, he continued to supply information to the Soviets until he was captured.

Much of the information from Fuchs found its way to Kurchatov. The general ideas from the U.S. and British programs were not new to the Soviets, but the conclusions helped them decide which developments were most likely to bear results.

Kurchatov suspected much of the information, and he did find several mistakes in the mathematics. He would often send questions back through the Soviet spy system. Fuchs was often surprised by the level of detail and foreknowledge of the questions.      

Related Web Sites

Klaus Fuchs
The American Experience - Race for the Superbomb

1959
Klaus Fuchs is released from British prison and allowed to go to East Germany.

1988
Klaus Fuchs dies.

  NEH
Site Index Home Good of Mankind Cold War Super Bomb Atomic Powers Arzamas-16 A New Weapon Nuclear Secrets Revolution