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Britains contribution to nuclear weapons

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Britains contribution to nuclear weapons

Old 28th Nov 2017, 11:45
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ImageGear
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Britains contribution to nuclear weapons

While I have read a number of books and watched several documentaries on this subject, I never really fully understood Britain's contribution to the early understanding and later, the Manhattan project.

I may be late to the party but I found this paper from the RAF Museum, a most absorbing read...

Maud Committee

Britain Nuclear Contribution

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Last edited by ImageGear; 28th Nov 2017 at 12:15.
 
Old 28th Nov 2017, 11:53
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Well that was a really interesting link - but one on aviation medicine not nuclear weapons
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 11:59
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Sorry Chris, Stubby finger problem..

Fixed,

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Old 28th Nov 2017, 12:17
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If by "early understanding" you mean the physics then the work prior to World War 2 was so multi national it is kind of hard to unravel which nation contributed what in the way of understanding....early on at at the start of it all you have the likes of Chadwick and Thomson, and I'm pretty sure a Brit, or Brit supplied (see below) explosives "expert" was heavily influential in the design and/or engineering of the Plutonium implosion weapon but darned if I can remember the name at the moment. IMHO the best primer is probably Richard Rhode's on work "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" but it's tough following all the nationalities.

Of course you also have to consider the influence of those Europeans who Britain sheltered prior to WW2 who went on to make significant contributions to the A bomb (e.g. Fuchs), and the H bomb (e.g err Fuchs....for both sides).

It's a complex bit of history, that's for sure.......Rhodes has done as good a job as anybody at depicting what went on...
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 13:37
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Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
If by "early understanding" you mean the physics then the work prior to World War 2 was so multi national it is kind of hard to unravel which nation contributed what in the way of understanding....early on at at the start of it all you have the likes of Chadwick and Thomson, and I'm pretty sure a Brit, or Brit supplied (see below) explosives "expert" was heavily influential in the design and/or engineering of the Plutonium implosion weapon but darned if I can remember the name at the moment. IMHO the best primer is probably Richard Rhode's on work "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" but it's tough following all the nationalities.

Of course you also have to consider the influence of those Europeans who Britain sheltered prior to WW2 who went on to make significant contributions to the A bomb (e.g. Fuchs), and the H bomb (e.g err Fuchs....for both sides).

It's a complex bit of history, that's for sure.......Rhodes has done as good a job as anybody at depicting what went on...
Don't forget the man who started it all, Sir Ernest Rutherford.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Rutherford

How he would have felt about the development of his discoveries is unkown obviously.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 14:03
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Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
It's a complex bit of history, that's for sure.......Rhodes has done as good a job as anybody at depicting what went on...
+1 for Richard Rhodes's book, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb". It's a wonderful synthesis of history, physics and engineering. He also wrote "Dark Sun" which is a history of the thermonuclear bomb and "Arsenals of Folly" about the post-war arms race and the end of the Cold War.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 14:43
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Don't forget the man who started it all, Sir Ernest Rutherford.
I hadn't..but given the context of the thread didn't want to start an argument with any Kiwis....
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 18:35
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[QUOTE
p.s. ImageGear, thank you for those urls.[/QUOTE]

Likewise from me! Interesting stuff !
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 19:11
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What am I doing wrong?.....

.....I tried googling "the making of the atom bomb" but all I got was a book by one Victoria Sherrow not the gent referred to here.

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Old 28th Nov 2017, 20:38
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Ahem.....

.....I just did it again and keeps on with Victoria Sherrow

Hang on! I got to it by just putting his name alone. But it's a tad expensive for the kindle edition. I'll pass. But thanks for the tip.

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Old 28th Nov 2017, 21:02
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Try and acquire the official histories - Britain and Atomic Energy 19391945 and Independence and Deterrence: Britain and Atomic Energy 194552.
Both were commissioned by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Margaret Gowing was involved with both.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 21:13
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Rossian - you realise that as a result of your gargle search you are now at the top of Special Branch's watch list. Bang goes your P.V. clearance. On second thoughts, typing bang has probably got me on the list as well.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 22:51
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For oxenos....

.....fortunately one has no need of such a thing these days. Oh! the embarassing questions....... My ears still burn in the dark hours before dawn.

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Old 28th Nov 2017, 23:11
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Let's not forget that Rutherford was actually a Kiwi not a Pom.....
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 23:21
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Ah ha......hence my post #7.

I think the technically correct description (certainly how it is described in biographies etc) is that Lord Rutherford was British, New Zealand born...(due to parentage and possibly nationality rules at the time)
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Old 29th Nov 2017, 00:25
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The big South American river company sell it.
So do Amazon

Rossian - you realise that as a result of your gargle search
Why didn't he try Google?
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Old 29th Nov 2017, 00:35
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There was much for me to consider in both papers although I am reluctant to pursue further knowledge regarding the physics involved, since it is not a subject with which I am intimately familiar.

However, the route to operational readiness and the development of a fully integrated deterrence platform also interests me. When needs must, etc. The subsequent speaker in referring to the Vulcan, and the example given of an operational sortie by a member of a front line crew, is both fascinating and disturbing. The capability of the aircraft to execute the defined task, as it was, seems to have resulted in a quite remarkable fit to purpose. I shall read a little more. The enduring "Vulcan" thread has provided me with considerable information however I have noted background detail in these documents that fills a number of gaps in my own personal experience.

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Old 29th Nov 2017, 00:56
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Lord Rutherford was British, New Zealand born
He was Lord Rutherford of Nelson...

Nelson is his original home town in the South Island of NZ but alas we colonials have always been swept up in the colonial dust bin of Britain...
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Old 29th Nov 2017, 01:07
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Even an Australian, Mark Oliphant, acting on behalf of the British MAUD Committee,, played a highly significant role in the bombs development. Certainly a multi national effort.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Oliphant

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAUD_Committee
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Old 29th Nov 2017, 05:52
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There's an interesting (and possibly false story) That there is an office in Manchester Uni that has a strange cancer rate that Rutherford worked in.
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