In April 1947, a former Wall Street banker. Admiral Lewis Strauss, became a member of the newly established Atomic Energy Commission. At the time, both General Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer believed that the Soviets were still a decade away from nuclear success; Naval Intelligence estimated the earliest date for a Soviet nuclear weapon as 1952, five years hence. Nevertheless, just one week after Strauss's appointment, he asked Secretary of Defense James E. Forrestal if any measures had been taken for the long‐range detection (LRD) of a hypothetical Soviet atomic bomb test, and the one‐time banker was surprised by the answer: No. Although he had little scientific knowledge of atomic weapons effects, Strauss felt intuitively that the military could and should have such a detection capability. He therefore pressed his deep concern to the military. The Office of Naval Research responded immediately.
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November 01 1996
Detecting the Soviet Bomb: Joe‐1 in a Rain Barrel
The Soviet Union made no announcement after its first atomic bomb test in 1949—but the US did. This is the hitherto untold story of how the secret was extracted from rainwater.
Luther B. Lockhart;
Physics Today 49 (11), 38–41 (1996);
Herbert Friedman, Luther B. Lockhart, Irving H. Blifford; Detecting the Soviet Bomb: Joe‐1 in a Rain Barrel. Physics Today 1 November 1996; 49 (11): 38–41. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.881547
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