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

By Simone Turchetti

In the autumn of 1950, newspapers worldwide stated that the Italian-born nuclear physicist Bruno Pontecorvo and his kin had mysteriously disappeared whereas returning to Britain from a vacation journey. simply because Pontecorvo used to be recognized to be a professional operating for the united kingdom Atomic power learn institution, this raised instant problem for the protection of atomic secrets and techniques, specifically whilst it grew to become recognized within the following months that he had defected to the Soviet Union. used to be Pontecorvo a secret agent? Did he recognize and move delicate information regarding the bomb to Soviet specialists? on the time, nuclear scientists, protection team of workers, Western executive officers, and reporters assessed the case, yet their efforts have been inconclusive and speculations quick became to silence. within the years considering the fact that, a few have downplayed Pontecorvo’s wisdom of atomic weaponry, whereas others have claimed him as a part of a undercover agent ring that infiltrated the ny Project.


The Pontecorvo Affair attracts from newly disclosed resources to problem earlier makes an attempt to resolve the case, providing a balanced and well-documented account of Pontecorvo, his actions, and his attainable motivations for defecting. alongside the way in which, 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 latest secrecy provisions at the few specialists on this planet focusing on its application.

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