By Simone Turchetti

In the autumn of 1950, newspapers around the globe suggested that the Italian-born nuclear physicist Bruno Pontecorvo and his family members had mysteriously disappeared whereas returning to Britain from a vacation journey. simply because Pontecorvo used to be recognized to be knowledgeable operating for the united kingdom Atomic strength learn institution, this raised speedy quandary for the security of atomic secrets and techniques, in particular while it turned recognized within the following months that he had defected to the Soviet Union. used to be Pontecorvo a secret agent? Did he be aware of and go delicate information regarding the bomb to Soviet specialists? on the time, nuclear scientists, protection body of workers, Western govt officers, and reporters assessed the case, yet their efforts have been inconclusive and speculations speedy grew to become to silence. within the years due to the fact that, a few have downplayed Pontecorvo’s wisdom of atomic weaponry, whereas others have claimed him as a part of a secret agent ring that infiltrated the long island Project.

           

The Pontecorvo Affair attracts from newly disclosed resources to problem past makes an attempt to unravel the case, delivering a balanced and well-documented account of Pontecorvo, his actions, and his attainable motivations for defecting. alongside the best way, Simone Turchetti reconsiders where of nuclear physics and nuclear physicists within the 20th century and divulges that because the discipline’s promise of army and commercial makes use of got here to the fore, so did the enforcement of recent secrecy provisions at the few specialists on the earth focusing on its application.

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The Pontecorvo Affair: A Cold War Defection and Nuclear Physics by Simone Turchetti


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