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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