Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics

By Edward Teller; Judith L. Shoolery | Go to book overview
Save to active project


EARLY IN THE summer of 1952, Mici, the children, and I had moved into a rental house on Alameda Avenue in the small community of Diablo, located at the foot of Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County. Until the laboratory was formally established, I worked at the Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley, where Ernest had made space for us. Planning went on throughout the summer.

At one point, Herb York showed me an organizational plan for the new laboratory that included groups to work on weapons tests, on computing, on the materials testing accelerator (MTA), on theoretical physics, and on controlled fusion—everything but a weapons design group. As I had been saying for months, the only reason important enough for me to leave my friends and my professional interests in Chicago was to work in a weapons research group that would provide friendly competition to Los Alamos.

When I asked why there was no weapons design group, Herb said that work on the hydrogen bomb was well underway at Los Alamos, therefore the main effort at Livermore should be given to research on controlled fusion. I liked our young director, and I knew he wanted to do well in his job. I did not want to upset him, but I was opposed to his plan. Without a program to develop the new possibilities of thermonuclear weapons, I could see no pressing need for a second laboratory.

Herb York wanted Livermore to become the lead laboratory in the effort on controlled fusion, a much less controversial program politically than weapons research. In contrast to fission reactors, a controlled-fusion reactor would release nuclear energy from relatively inexpensive fuel with comparatively little associated radioactivity. The project was important; but because


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 628

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?