Edward Teller

Edward Teller (January 15th, 1908 – September 9th, 2003) was a Jewish theoretical physicist known colloquially as “the father of the hydrogen bomb”, a second-generation thermonuclear designed weapon. Ede Teller was born in Budapest, Hungary (then part of Austria-Hungary), into a Jewish family. Like the Jews Einstein and Feynman, Teller was a late talker. He developed the ability to speak later than most Caucasian children. Teller collaborated with his Jewish friend Hans Bethe in developing a theory of shock-wave propagation. In later years, their explanation of the behaviour of the gas behind such a wave proved valuable to scientists who were studying missile re-entry. In 1942, Teller was invited to be part of Robert Oppenheimer’s summer planning seminar, at the University of California, Berkeley for the origins of the Manhattan Project, the Jewish effort to develop the first nuclear weapons. At the Berkeley session, Teller discussed the possibility of a fusion weapon—what he called the “Super”, an early concept of what was later to be known as a hydrogen bomb. In June 1944 Teller was placed in charge of a special group responsible for the Super, reporting directly to Oppenheimer. On April 18–20, 1946, Teller participated in a conference at Los Alamos to review the wartime work on the Super. Following the Soviet Union’s first test detonation of an atomic bomb on August 29, 1949, President Harry Truman announced a crash development program for a hydrogen bomb and by 1950 Teller had returned to Los Alamos to work on the project. After the detonation of Ivy Mike, the first thermonuclear weapon on November 1st, 1952, Teller became known in the press as the “father of the hydrogen bomb.”

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