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The Pontecorvo AffairA Cold War Defection and Nuclear Physics$
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Simone Turchetti

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226816647

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226816661.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 November 2021

Introduction: The Silent Quake

Introduction: The Silent Quake

(p.1) Introduction: The Silent Quake
The Pontecorvo Affair
University of Chicago Press

Bruno Pontecorvo was a scientist, who disappeared with his family in Finland during a holiday trip. More information was gathered about his location (Soviet Russia) in the following months. Pontecorvo was the first and only scientist employed in wartime nuclear projects who in the 1950s crossed the Iron Curtain. His disappearance developed a seismic wave that could be clearly determined by those in the know. In line with this, this book tries to employ the Pontecorvo affair to open the debate on the present understanding of the relation between nuclear science, security, and politics in the early days of the Cold War. It specifically explores Pontecorvo's life and career in combination with developments in nuclear science and technology, and the changes in the setting up of security regulations and practices. An overview of the chapters included in the book is finally given.

Keywords:   Bruno Pontecorvo, Soviet Russia, Iron Curtain, Cold War, nuclear science, security regulations, politics

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