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|"Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist." 1977.
Produced for NOVA by Robert Richter/WGBH-Boston.
Early Lectures on Peace. (2:12)
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Linus Pauling: I was asked very soon after the atomic bombs were used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to give talks to groups of citizens --
Rotary Club sort of thing. I remember the first one was in Hollywood. I was asked because I was known as a speaker about
scientific subjects, who could present the material to the public at large. And, of course, I hadn't been involved at all
in the atomic bomb project, the Manhattan Project. But I had a moderate amount of knowledge in the field already, and I did
have the benefit of the Smythe Report -- this was after the Smythe Report had been published, as I recall.
So I talked about the nature of nuclear fission, and of atomic bombs, without saying much about the significance for the world,
or about the necessity for abolishing war. I could, of course, talk about how great the destructive power of these weapons
were. I even gave my own estimate of how much fissionable material was contained in an atomic bomb. I had made up two small
hemispheres of wood, by sawing a wooden ball in two. I said, "this weighs perhaps ten pounds and if these two pieces of plutonium
were to be pushed very rapidly together, by shooting...one from a gun at the other one, then nuclear fission would occur very
rapidly and one would have the explosion, the nuclear explosion."
ClipCreator: Linus Pauling
Clip ID: 1977v.66-peacelectures
Full WorkCreator: Robert Richter, WGBH-Boston
Associated: Linus Pauling, Ava Helen Pauling, David Shoemaker, E. Bright Wilson, Jr., Frank Catchpool
Copyright: More Information