Found in 5 comments on Hacker News
atombender · 2019-03-05 · Original thread
If you liked American Prometheus (which I agree is fantastic), have you read Richard Rhodes' The Making of the Atomic Bomb [1]? It's absolutely superb. It covers quite a lot of Oppenheimer's career, although the sequel, Dark Sun: The Making Of The Hydrogen Bomb, goes into more detail, not just Oppenheimer's famous trial, but also his family life and his lesser-known political work in helping form the Atomic Energy Commission.


dabeeeenster · 2014-09-30 · Original thread
For those that have not read it, the Richard Rhodes book is one of the finest pieces of science/engineering writing I have read:

As I remember it from Richard Rhodes' superb, Pulitzer-winning _The Making of the Atomic Bomb_ [1] (highly recommended for anyone interested in science), it was Edward Teller who had the sudden fear that a fission bomb might result in a fusion chain reaction that would ignite the atmosphere and boil the oceans (page 418). Hans Bethe did the calculations and determined it was not possible.

However, the notion was disturbing enough that a formal report was requested. I believe this was later, in 1945 or 1946, during the development of the hydrogen bomb, but I'm not sure. The report [2], co-authored by Teller, is dated 1946. It was declassified in 1973.

On the night of the Trinity test, apparently with the notion of calming people down, Fermi (to the annoyance of Maj. General Leslie Groves) humorously started taking bets on whether the test would ignite the atmosphere or merely destroy the state of Mexico (page 664).



timr · 2010-11-03 · Original thread
If you really want a doorstop of a tome on nuclear weapons, checkout Rhodes' other book:

mudil · 2010-08-25 · Original thread
Manhattan Project cost nearly US$2 billion ($22 billion in present day value).( It employed more than 130,000 people. Many labs and plants built in 1940s for the project are still in use today.

We have just spend $760 billion on so-called stimulus. The money is gone, and nothing to show for it.

That's how bloated gov't works nowadays, in CA, federal, and all other states. And the letter is calling for more of this!

PS Great book on Manhattan project:

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