AUTHORSmith, Alice Kimball
TITLEThe Elusive Dr. Szilard
PERIODICAL TITLEHarper's Magazine
DATE PUBLISHED1960
VOLUME NUMBERn/a
ISSUE NUMBERJuly
PAGE NUMBERS77-86
ISSN0017-789X


This article focuses on Hungarian scientist Leo Szilard, his work with atomic energy, and his opinions and activities. Written by an acquaintance, the article briefly covers Szilard's early career and inventions. It describes his realization of the possibilities of nuclear chain reactions, as well as his work with Enrico Fermi that led to the first self-sustaining chain reaction in December 1942. Also discussed is his idea of using graphite as a moderator for nuclear reactors, his concern about and efforts against nuclear proliferation, his petition to President Harry Truman not to use the atomic bomb, his support for civilian control of atomic energy, and his post-war research in biology. The article recounts Szilard's ideas on international relations, taxes, and various other issues. Throughout the article, the author captures Szilard's personality and temperament.


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