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Richard Rhodes on: Klaus Fuchs' Role on the Manhattan Project
Richard Rhodes Q: Tell me a little bit about what Klaus Fuchs did on the Manhattan Project during the war.

RR: Fuchs during the Second World War worked exactly at the center of the whole project. He was responsible for developing the theory that would go with the problem of imploding (squeezing with high explosive shaped charges) the fissionable core of the bomb. He worked on their-- that is to say, the most difficult technical problem, the one that by solving it would give you the most bang for the buck. He was right in the middle of it all. And there are six or seven major theoretical papers on implosion that have his name on them. When we add to that this work on radiation implosion, one can see Klaus Fuchs as not only the spy who gave it all away, but in a very strange way, the scientist who was in the middle of the most important developments. [Hans] Bethe said to me once, "Klaus Fuchs is the only physicist I know who really changed history." And it's true, more than we thought when we heard that he was a spy.

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