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A favourite professor and the law of nines


Why I didn't become an experimental physicist
Edward Teller Scientist
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And one day - I think it was at lunch, maybe it was at dinner - policemen appeared, and were going to arrest me. It turned out, and I claim it was unintentional, that I illuminated with my little mirror not only the general outside world but on the other side of the street, the bald head of a justice. As I already told you, my father was a lawyer and he said that I will get adequate punishment and they should- the policemen should go away. And that happened. And the punishment was that the mirror was taken away from me. So there is another reason why I did not become an experimental physicist.

The late Hungarian-American physicist Edward Teller helped to develop the atomic bomb and provided the theoretical framework for the hydrogen bomb. During his long and sometimes controversial career he was a staunch advocate of nuclear power and also of a strong defence policy, calling for the development of advanced thermonuclear weapons.

Listeners: John H. Nuckolls

John H. Nuckolls was Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1988 to 1994. He joined the Laboratory in 1955, 3 years after its establishment, with a masters degree in physics from Columbia. He rose to become the Laboratory's Associate Director for Physics before his appointment as Director in 1988.

Nuckolls, a laser fusion and nuclear weapons physicist, helped pioneer the use of computers to understand and simulate physics phenomena at extremes of temperature, density and short time scales. He is internationally recognised for his work in the development and control of nuclear explosions and as a pioneer in the development of laser fusion.

Duration: 1 minute, 4 seconds

Date story recorded: June 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008