Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Montage of images and link description. Race for the Superbomb Imagemap: linked to kids and home
The Film and More
Imagemap(text links below) of menu items
The American Experience
The Film & More
Interview Transcripts | Bibliography | Primary Sources

Marshall Rosenbluth on: His Experience at Los Alamos
Q: So, when did the subject first come that you might or should consider joining Los Alamos?

MR: Well, I believe it was the summer of '48. I had been working -- Teller was actually my thesis advisor, and he never sort of had any time because he was always running off to Los Alamos, or was doing fifty other things. So he said why don't you come out to Los Alamos and spend a summer there. There is interesting physics problems, and I will have more time then to look at your thesis and so on. I agreed, and as I recall, it was about a couple of weeks before the summer vacation when I would have gone out there, and I said that it was nearly impossible because of the clearance and he said, don't worry about it. I got my clearance the next day. So, I think that indicates that he had quite a bit of pull with the clearance mechanism, whatever it was. So, then I went out to Los Alamos for the summer, and I believe that I spent two summers, '48 and '49 and then decided that I would go back to academic life and went to Stanford.

Q: So, when did you finally join Los Alamos?

MR: Well, the next year, in '50. So, at that point, people were not very optimistic. Of course, everybody would have felt the best thing would be if you could prove that you absolutely couldn't do it (build the H-bomb), but it was sort of hanging in this gray area, where it looked difficult, but maybe it is possible, and you had to worry.

back to Interview Transcripts

Program Description | Enhanced Transcript | Reference