Hans Bethe: The other was M - A - D, MAD [Mutually Assured Destruction], which essentially says that nuclear weapons make sense only as a safeguard against nuclear weapons. As [Wolfgang] Panofsky has said recently, and there is actually an article by him, "It is not a doctrine. It is a fact of life. Nothing else is possible, whatever you might wish.” So I think you should not present it as something really unavoidable, without any movements in the opposite direction.
Nuclear Arms Race
Ralph Lapp: I am Ralph Lapp, L-A-P-P. I am a physicist, nuclear physicist, an author, and a consultant. I have engaged in finance and technology.
Interviewer: Great. What can you tell us about your role in the Manhattan Project?
Siegfried Hecker: The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings [Act] brings back memories.
Richard Rhodes: No, exactly.
Richard Rhodes: So what I thought we might do since you just came back from – was this work related to the Russian collaboration?
Siegfried Hecker: Yes.
Rhodes: Then maybe we should debrief you about that first before we go back and do the earlier part of the story. Does that make sense to you?
Hecker: Well, I do not know how you do these things. I am completely in your hands. Whatever you think makes sense.
Richard Rhodes: I really am going to have to go through and revise the Perseus discussion, I think.
Robert Lamphere: It’s got Lona [Cohen] and the tissue thing. I think it became a story that she told. But who’s to know?
I just found that Greenglass’s information on implosion was the first news the Soviets had of it. I just found that fascinating because I learned something.
Rhodes: It’s probably the reason they were willing to cross the two nets.
Robert Lamphere: They said that he [Klaus Fuchs] annoyed some of the people because he wanted to keep certain [inaudible]. That’s a little point of irony.
Richard Rhodes: Although, again, there was one guy who later thought, “Well, maybe he was pushing to find out what was the most valuable information.” Which I hadn’t thought of until I saw that comment.
Lamphere: I did not remember that at all. Don’t remember covering it in my interview.
Martin Sherwin: This is an interview with Hans Bethe in his office at Newman Hall, Cornell University, May 5, 1982. This is Martin Sherwin.
Sherwin: I’m glad I caught this. Basically, you were surprised that Kyoto had been selected and at these meetings, that the Target Committee had been held in the Oppenheimer’s office.
Richard Rhodes: You said [Richard] Courant’s work added realism?
Ted Taylor: Yeah.
Rhodes: How so?
Taylor: By going over various tricks for dealing with the discontinuities, the singularities in the hydrodynamics. I had the impression that he was very helpful to people like Bob Richtmyer. I don’t know that Richard himself came up with anything all new and different, I don’t know. But he was very articulate and active.
Richard Rhodes: How did you get involved in the program?
Marshall Rosenbluth: Well, you can probably guess. I’ve already told you that I was a student of [Edward] Teller’s. I was in the Navy during the war and then went back to the University of Chicago where my parents were living, to graduate school, and became a student of Teller’s. I’m not quite sure exactly how. He was a professor in one of my courses.
Ted Taylor: I think Carson Mark is the most valuable resource to talk to about what happened in those days at Los Alamos. At Livermore, [Edward] Teller, certainly.
Richard Rhodes: Teller won't talk to me, I'm afraid. He’s decided I’m the enemy.