Finding Peter Ganz

About a month ago, I wrote a review of a play by David C. Cassidy about Farm Hall.  Farm Hall was the English country house in which the British government, just after World War II, sequestered the German nuclear scientists they’d kidnapped.  The scientists’ rooms were bugged, and their conversation was recorded and transcribed by […]

A. Wellerstein & the Death of a Patent Clerk

Alex Wellerstein is an historian of science at the American Institute of Physics with an obsession about the atomic bomb and in particular, about the patents taken out on it.  Patents on the atomic bomb seem odd: apparently the government wanted to be sure it owned the rights, and not the “private contractors, private scientists, […]

Farm Hall: the Fall into Failure

You probably know this.  In August, 1939, Einstein wrote a letter to the American government.  German scientists had announced that the energy holding an atom together could be released – in fact, 2.2 pounds-worth of uranium atoms would equal 10,000 tons of TNT.  Einstein said this implied a new kind of bomb that Hitler’s government […]