Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear Weapons : What You Need to Know

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This book is a history of nuclear weapons. From their initial theoretical development at the start of the twentieth century to the recent tests in North Korea, Jeremy Bernstein seeks to describe the basic science of nuclear weaponry at each point in the narrative. At the same time, he offers accounts and anecdotes of the personalities involved, many of whom he has known firsthand. Dr Bernstein writes in response to what he sees as a widespread misunderstanding throughout the media and hence among the general public of the basic workings and potential impact of nuclear weaponry. For example, he points out that it has been nearly thirty years since anyone has even seen a nuclear detonation. Likewise, the Nagasaki bomb, primitive when compared to more modern devices, generated an explosion roughly the equivalent of eight thousand copies of the truck bomb used by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 316 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 18mm | 500g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521126371
  • 9780521126373
  • 1,081,159

Table of contents

1. The nucleus; 2. Neutrons; 3. Fissions; 4. Chain reactions; 5. MAUD; 6. Eka-Osmium; 7. Serber's primer; 8. The 'gadget'; 9. Smoky and the need to know; 10. Fusion; 11. Spies; 12. Proliferation.
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Review quote

"There's no better person to analyze this crucial and fascinating topic. Jeremy Bernstein is a delightful writer and accomplished physicist who worked at Los Alamos as a young scholar and has since written on such subjects as Hitler's nuclear scientists, Einstein, and plutonium. He combines colorful personal tales with wonderfully clear explanations. He's the teacher we all wish we had."
-Walter Isaacson, President of the Aspen Institute and author of Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007) "Jeremy Bernstein's Nuclear Weapons: What You Need to Know is an important addition to the scientific literature." -David Hafemeister, Physics Today " important addition to the scientic literature." -David Hafemeister, Physics Today "Jeremy Bernstein's Nuclear Weapons: What You Need to Know delivers as advertised, arming the reader with sufficent historical and technical background to engage contemporary journalism on nuclear weapons or to begin more in-depth study of the histories of science, the Cold War, and related topics." -Edward H. Jeter, World History Bulletin
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About Jeremy Bernstein

Jeremy Bernstein is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was a staff writer for the New Yorker from 1961 to 1995. He has written some fifty technical papers, three monographs, and twelve books, including Albert Einstein, which was nominated for a National Book Award; Hitler's Uranium Club; a biography of Robert Oppenheimer entitled Oppenheimer: Portrait of an Enigma; and most recently Plutonium: A History of the World's Most Dangerous Element.
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Rating details

22 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 23% (5)
4 36% (8)
3 36% (8)
2 5% (1)
1 0% (0)
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