The history of thermonuclear research traces its roots back to the year 1941. in a lecture delivered in May 1941, Tokutaro Hagiwara, a physicist at the University of Kyoto, postulated that a thermonuclear fusion reaction between hydrogen atoms could be triggered by the explosive fission chain reaction of uranium‐235. in September 1941, Enrico Fermi at Columbia University proposed a similar idea to Edward Teller. Discussions between Fermi and Teller ultimately suggested the feasibility of using an atomic explosion to initiate thermonuclear reactions in a deuterium medium. the conversations with Fermi sparked in Teller a decade‐long messianic obsession with the notion of building a thermonuclear superbomb.
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November 01 1996
Thermonuclear Milestones: (1) The American Effort
It took a decade for scientists in America to develop the first ideas for a ‘Super’ bomb into a device that ignited ‘the first small thermonuclear flame ever to burn on Earth.’
Physics Today 49 (11), 45–48 (1996);
German A. Goncharov; Thermonuclear Milestones: (1) The American Effort. Physics Today 1 November 1996; 49 (11): 45–48. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2807828
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