Edward Teller: The Actual Dr. Strangelove

Born on January 15, 1908, in Budapest, Hungary, to Jewish parents, Edward Taylor became one of the most influential theoretical physicists of the 20th century. In 1926, he graduated from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany with a degree in chemical engineering, before moving to the University of Munich to study physics. While in Munich, young Taylor fell while trying to jump out of a moving street car, and his leg was crushed so badly that his right leg was nearly amputated. He survived but had to use prosthetics and walked with a limp for the rest of his life.

However, he quickly weaned himself from painkillers, as he needed a crystal-clear mind for his work on the hydrogen molecular ion, on which he wrote his doctoral thesis under the direction of Werner Heisenberg at the University of Leipzig. . At the time, Germany was the center of theoretical physics, and Taylor spent years doing some of the most cutting-edge work being done in the field, but as Hitler came to power, he and other notable Jewish scientists felt compelled to flee. did. for your safety. Eventually, Taylor moved to the United States, where he obtained citizenship.

Taylor made his greatest impact on the world during World War II, when his expertise led him to work in the development of nuclear weapons. In fact, it was Taylor who urged President Roosevelt to build the bomb in the first place, for the famous sign in Albert Einstein's home to Leo Szilard, because its theoretical existence had not become widely known outside the scientific community. Taylor then teamed up with Enrico Fermi to create the first chain reaction and then joined the Manhattan Project, directed by fellow physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. Throughout the project, however, Taylor seemed more determined on the idea of ​​a more powerful hydrogen fusion bomb, despite the fact that it still required an undeveloped atomic bomb to take off.

After the war, Taylor was still enthusiastic about his vision of an even bigger weapon, but there was some pushback from more powerful figures like Oppenheimer, so he was more than happy to testify against him at his infamous 1950 trial. , which took away his security clearance. and key positions in the Atomic Energy Commission. On November 1, 1952, the first hydrogen bomb was successfully detonated on Enewetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Later designs were estimated to be a thousand times more powerful than the atomic bombs used during World War II. Taylor was an influential catalyst throughout the Cold War, always insisting that the United States as an instrument of national security must have many more deadly designs than any communist nation, and the Regan administration. During the U.S., they created defensive systems that could block successful attacks. on America.

As for his nuclear fervor, it has often been suggested that he was the director of Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, whom Taylor despised, as he was once quoted, "My name is not Strangelove. I don't know Strangelove. . I'm not interested in Strangelove. What more can I say? Look. Say it three times more, and I'll kick you out of this office." George W. He died in 2003, just months after receiving the Presidential Medal of Honor from Bush.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.