AUTHORHeims, Steve J.
TITLEJohn Von Neumann and Norbert Wiener: From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death
CITYCambridge, MA

This double biographical essay focuses on selections from the lives and works of two eminent mathematicians, John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener. Von Neumann's role in the development of both the atomic and the hydrogen bomb is presented. The author attempts to place the two men in the scientific, political, and social environment of the times in which they lived. The attitudes of the two mathematicians toward military applications of science are contrasted: Wiener is portrayed as taking the moral high ground while Von Neumann seems to have no reservations about developing nuclear weapons.

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