AUTHORGoncharov, German A.
TITLEThermonuclear Milestones
PERIODICAL TITLEPhysics Today
DATE PUBLISHED1996
VOLUME NUMBER49
ISSUE NUMBER11 (November)
PAGE NUMBERS44-61
ISSN0031-9228


This short article introduces three separate essays by the same author that discuss the history of thermonuclear weapons development in the United States and the former Soviet Union. The author compares the main events in nuclear science research and development in both countries between 1941 and 1956 to illustrate how ideas for thermonuclear weapons emerged. For information on the United States, he researched papers, articles, and books; information on the Soviet Union was obtained from original documents. The first essay, titled “The American Effort,” recounts how the United States developed the first hydrogen bomb. The second essay, “Beginnings of the Soviet H-Bomb Program,” discusses the motivations and means by which the Soviet Union began its research and development in thermonuclear weapons. The third essay, “The Race Accelerates,” focuses on the intense competition between the two nuclear nations.


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