Siegfried Hecker: Okay, I was just—a little bit more on the testing business. Again, I will not give you much because eventually, I am sure you will do all the research on this. There are some interesting dynamics in the testing business all the way around, because it is such an emotional issue. So hard drawn on both sides, almost a little bit like abortion. You just cannot seem to bring people together. They are either in one camp or in the other.
Nuclear Arms Race
Richard Rhodes: Although again, I was struck in Russia with how different a world that was.
Ted Taylor: Oh, yeah.
Rhodes: How much more closely they were—
Taylor: That is why I am so thankful because in many other places people get shot.
Rhodes: Yeah. We could not even get directions on the street. Nobody wanted to talk to foreigners. Even now, partly, I am sure.
Taylor: Some of that is habit, I think.
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.
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.