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Distributed for Haus Publishing

The Night of the Physicists

Operation Epsilon: Heisenberg, Hahn, Weizsäcker and the German Bomb

Distributed for Haus Publishing

The Night of the Physicists

Operation Epsilon: Heisenberg, Hahn, Weizsäcker and the German Bomb

In the spring of 1945 the Allies arrested the physicists they believed had worked on the German nuclear programme. Interned in an English country house owned by MI6, their conversations were secretly recorded. Operation Epsilon sought to determine how close Nazi Germany had come to building an atomic bomb. It was in this quiet setting – Farm Hall, near Cambridge – that the interned physicists first heard of the attack on Hiroshima. Aside from changing the course of history, that night was also one of great shock and personal defeat for the physicists – they were under the assumption that they alone had discovered nuclear fission. This is the story of Nazi Germany’s hunt for a nuclear bomb. It is a tale of the genius and guilt of lauded, respected scientists.

230 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2015

History: General History

Physical Sciences: Physics--Popular Books

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Table of Contents

Prologue: The Magician’s Apprentice and his Master

After the End
From Haigerloch to Urfeld
Interrogation in Heidelberg
Ten physicists on a European odyssey
Harteck’s story
Gerlach’s story
Arrival at Farm Hall, 3 July 1945

The Dark Side
Haber, Hahn and Chemical warfare
Ypres, 22 April 1915
1932 -39: From the discovery of the neutron to atomic fission
A dancing speck of dust
Is a chain reaction conceivable?
Chief theorist Heisenberg and the uranium project
Uranium ore and isotope separation
Heavy water
4 June 1942: The turning point

Tickling the Dragon’s Tail
Ingenuity and caution
The Manhattan Project: The World’s greatest experiment
Oak Ridge Y-12
Plutonium from Hanford
The Dragon Tickler

Visions and Setbacks
Making Jam
The best man for the job
The limits of the war economy
Gerlach’s dream and the end of the German uranium project
An unwelcome encounter

August 1945
Hiroshima, 6 August, 08:16
Farm Hall, 6 August
Nagasaki, 9 August, 11:02
Memorandum of the Ten
An English visitor
Late Summer at Farm Hall
Routine and Boredom
The lost noble Laureate
Bulgarian and Romanian dabblings in physics
What happened next

Postscript: By the Loisach Bridge
List of Illustrations
Translator’s Note

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