For the last fifteen years, a great part of physical research in the United States and a high proportion of the working hours of US physicists have been related, in one way or another, to national security. During World War II the objectives of physicists and their research programs were more or less clearly defined. The overriding task then was to produce the better weapons and countermeasures which could, and did, speed the day of victory. The impressive wartime successes in applied research helped to establish physics and the other sciences as indispensable to progress in the “hardware” of war. In a broader sense, the military man, the statesman, the average citizen—and the scientist—all came, quite understandably, to associate scientific progress with greater security for our country. And in this broad association of science with security physics has probably occupied the most prominent position, whether this prominence be measured by respect, money, publicity, or security restrictions.

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