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Edward Teller

Edward Teller (January 15, 1908 - ) is an American physicist.

He was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary. He left Hungary in 1926 (due to the rule of Nicholas Horthy) and received his higher education in Germany, completing his Ph.D. in physics under Werner Heisenberg in 1930 at the University of Leipzig.

In 1934 he left Germany through the aid of the Jewish Rescue Committee[?] and went briefly to England. He spent two years at the University of Göttingen and then a year with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen.

In 1935, Teller emigrated to the United States. Until 1941 he lectured at George Washington University[?], where he met George Gamow.

In 1942, having worked with the Briggs committee, Teller joined the Manhattan Project. He was part of the Theoretical Physics division at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory during World War II and pushed hard for the additional development of nuclear weapons into a fusion based Super bomb (hydrogen bomb) rather than using just the fission only atomic bomb. In 1946 he left Los Alamos to became a professor at the University of Chicago.

Following the Soviet test detonation of an atomic device in 1949 he returned to Los Alamos in 1950 to join the hydrogen bomb program. When he and Stanislaw Ulam came up with a working H-bomb design, Teller was not chosen to head the project due to the lack of regard the rest of the team felt for him. He left Los Alamos and joined the newly established Lawrence Livermore branch of the University of California Radiation Laboratory in 1952. The differences between Teller and many of his colleagues were widened in 1954 when he slandered Robert Oppenheimer at his security clearance hearings.

Teller was Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1958-1960) and then a Associate Director as he also taught at the University of California, Berkeley. He was a tireless advocate of a strong nuclear defense and argued for continued testing and development, when SDI was mooted Teller was one of its strongest supporters.

In 1975 he retired, he was named Director Emeritus of the Livermore Laboratory and was also appointed Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

His books include Conversations on the Dark Secrets of Physics (1991), Better a Shield Than a Sword (1987), Pursuit of Simplicity (1980), and Energy from Heaven and Earth (1979).

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