The idea came to him one day in September 1933 as he crossed Southhampton Row near the British Museum in London. What Leo Szilard imagined so brilliantly that day was a transmutation of chemical elements in a nuclear chain reaction that could someday produce enormous explosive power. Szilard's concept unrolled in his mind five years before fission was discovered, nine years before the first self‐sustaining reaction was achieved and 12 years before the atomic bomb was dropped.
Leo Szilard: Giving Peace a Chance in the Nuclear Age
Barton J. Bernstein; Leo Szilard: Giving Peace a Chance in the Nuclear Age. Physics Today 1 September 1987; 40 (9): 40–47. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.881087
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