General Science and Philosophy


On Physics and Politics in the United States after World War II

Authors: Divyansh Mansukhani

The atom bomb was used by the US as a wartime weapon. The detonation of this recent technology got the military to realize it as a remarkable asset and subsequently, supported hydrogen bombs. This transition which continued during the post-war peacetime period – encompassed noteworthy changes in relationship between the physics community and US politics. The cause for the transition is that government realized with the hydrogen bombs, which was also true for atomic bombs at the time, that they were inherently different from all previous weaponry and to accomplish a successful business for the military, a peaceful rapport with the physics community was necessitated. Further, government realized that the new weapons were practically unrestrained in regard to the destructive potential that they could inflict. This paper investigates the attitude of both the parties towards each other after the World War II. Physics gradually got taken more as resource - this necessitated more trust from physics community, which politicians worked to obtain as they sought to mitigate security concerns and the potential embarrassments in the wave of McCarthyism and Red Scare. While the concept of militaries benefiting from general advancements in technology and science is certainly not new, many physicists involved in the development of nuclear weapons argued that it marked uncharted territory in what lengths science should be applied to war; at least the US should not break any lines.

Comments: 7 Pages.

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[v1] 2019-04-20 09:41:18

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