A Russian Perspective on the Father of the American H-Bomb

Gennady Gorelik
Center for Philosophy and History of Science, Boston University

Colloquium on the History of Science and Technology at the University of Minnesota
April 19, 2002


There are two aged controversies, "Teller-Oppenheimer" and "Teller-Ulam",  that made a father of the American hydrogen bomb, Edward Teller, persona non grata in the physics community he felt was his. Teller was blamed for trying -- on selfish grounds -- to destroy Robert Oppenheimer and to diminish the contribution of Stanislaw Ulam in the H-bomb.  Andrei Sakharov surprised many readers of his Memoirs by claiming that American physicists were unfair in their attitude toward  Teller. New historical evidence of Russian nature, both archival documents and oral history, emerged recently to suggest that we should re-examine the issue and  that more probably than not Andrei Sakharov was right.


Fathers of Nuclear Weaponry
Bucking the Tide or Selling Out to the Military-Industrial Complex?
The Anti-Communist and His Two Pro-Socialist Friends
Who Is the Father of the H-Bomb and Who Is the Mother?
Experience and Theory

The author's Russian-American perspective on the fatherhood of H-bomb is presented in the book

The World of Andrei Sakharov:
A Russian Physicist's Path to Freedom

by Gennady Gorelik with Antonina W. Bouis

Oxford University Press,  2005