- Previous Article
During the waning weeks of World War II in Europe, as Allied armies swept across a defeated, chaotic Germany, two teams of the world's leading nuclear scientists strove to complete their work. One team, sequestered at Los Alamos, hastened to assemble the first of three atomic bombs. The other, a group of German scientists and technicians who had recently fled the Allied bombing of Berlin for southern Germany, worked day and night trying to achieve what, unbeknownst to them, the Allies had achieved nearly two and a half years earlier: a critical self‐sustaining nuclear reactor.
A talk delivered to top German research officials demonstrates that Heisenberg understood, several years before the end of World War II, the basics of how to obtain fissile materials for an atomic bomb.