Post archives

2012
March 2012
12
Meditations
There's been a lot of talk about the Fukushima accident being an example of nuclear secrecy. But it's really about regulatory capture.
 9
Visions
It's 1945, just after the Trinity test. Where is General Leslie Groves looking?
 7
Redactions
Dissecting President Truman's announcement of the atomic bomb, which was neither written nor actually said by Truman himself.
 7
News and Notes
Los Alamos has released some new footage from World War II at the lab. I point out all of the cool dogs in it, and a few other things.
 5
Meditations
Vannevar Bush had a problem: French physicists had filed for a patent on the nuclear reactor. A novel form of secrecy was his answer.
 2
Visions
Why Life magazine's speculative August 1945 story on the atomic bomb -- and its drawings -- raised the censors' eyebrows.
February 2012
29
Redactions
A Civil Defense pamphlet from 1956 explains how to dispose of the millions of corpses after a "nuclear bomb disaster." Includes a flowchart!
27
Meditations
Recently, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin praised the work of US scientists in helping the Soviet Union get the atomic bomb. Why?
23
News and Notes | Visions
Reflections on the "explosive" success of NUKEMAP, and answering some questions about it that I've seen floating around.
22
Redactions
The famous collaboration that led to the creation of the hydrogen bomb.
20
Meditations
New footage has been found of scientists romping around Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project. What does that get us, intellectually?
17
Visions
An obscure Soviet publication on nuclear weapons reveals differences in how different countries draw their atomic bombs.
15
Redactions
General Groves' scientific adviser discusses the implications of the US stopping the production of atomic bombs just after WWII.
13
Meditations
Should we try to show that people in the past were just like us, or lived in another country? Each direction has its perils.
10
Visions
A proto-NUKEMAP from 1950 tried to help industrialists assess their risk from atomic warfare.
 8
Redactions
The story behind the broadcast of the first hydrogen bomb test -- two years after it happened.
 6
Meditations
New NUKEMAP features, plus a discussion of the first 1,500 "detonations."
 3
Visions
A new tool for demonstrating the qualitative effects of nuclear weapons.
 1
Redactions
An engineer close to the development of the atom bomb considers the relative risks and benefits of declassifying the concept of "implosion."
January 2012
30
Meditations
A summary of a sticky historical issue: whether civilians or military personnel would physically control the atomic bomb.
27
News and Notes
In early 1942, General Leslie Groves wrote to the future author of the famous Smyth Report for advice about whether his son study physics.
27
Visions
The story behind one of the more striking photographs of the father of the atomic bomb.
25
Redactions
Differently-redacted documents from the infamous spy's FBI file, with discussions on why the FBI and MI5 weren't keen to share information.
23
Meditations
New nuclear tidbits from eight just-declassified secret transcripts of the Congressional committee charged with atomic oversight issues.
20
Visions
How the casing of atomic bombs went from being Top Secret to being on display in public museums to being Top Secret again.
18
Redactions
On the agonizing compromises made when one brother is the country's top nuclear scientist, and the other is a former Communist Party member.
16
Meditations
Reflections on the use of assassination as a means of counter-proliferation, with insights from the history and sociology of science.
13
Visions
When Sandia found the casing of an old H-bomb in a classified landfill, they did the sensible thing: take photos of themselves with it.
11
Redactions
One of the most famous documents of the nuclear age was actually censored when it was first released. Find out what was removed, and why.
 9
Meditations
Live-blogging from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' 2012 "Doomsday Clock Symposium." The outlook is... doomy.
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