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Stanislaw Marcin Ulam

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Stanislaw Marcin Ulam (April 13, 1909 - May 13, 1984) was an American mathematician.

Ulam was born in Lwow, Poland (now L'viv, Ukraine).

Stan Ulam is also important in the early history of nuclear weapons. It was Ulam who showed Edward Teller's early model of the hydrogen bomb to be inadequate.

Ulam then went on to devise a better method himself. He was the first one to realize that you could place all the of H-bomb's components inside one casing, put a fission bomb at one end and thermonuclear material at the other, and use shock waves from the fisson bomb to compress and detonate a fusion fuel.

Teller resisted this idea at first, then saw its merit, and suggested the use of radiation rather than shock waves. "Radiation implosion," as the method came to be called, has been the standard method of creating H-bombs ever since.

Ulam developed the Monte Carlo Method for evaluating complicated mathematical integrals while working on theoretical problems during the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos.

Ulam also invented nuclear pulse propulsion, and at the end of his life, declared it the invention of which he was most proud.

Ulam died in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

His autobiography was published in 1983: Ulam, S.M., Adventures of a mathematician, Charles Scribner's sons, New York (1983)

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