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71

PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF RICHARD P. FEYNMAN

FEYNMAN, RICHARD P.
POST-HIROSHIMA TALKS ON THE ATOM BOMB, CA 1945.
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 30,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
71

PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF RICHARD P. FEYNMAN

FEYNMAN, RICHARD P.
POST-HIROSHIMA TALKS ON THE ATOM BOMB, CA 1945.
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 30,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

History of Science & Technology, Including the Nobel Prize and Papers of Richard P. Feynman

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New York

FEYNMAN, RICHARD P.
POST-HIROSHIMA TALKS ON THE ATOM BOMB, CA 1945.
Autograph manuscripts, 7 pp on 4 sheets, pencil, black pen, & blue pen on yellow ruled paper (1 sheet), plain white paper (2 sheets) and Cornell letterhead (1 sheet) (8 x 10 1/2 in - 8 1/2 x 11 in), creases where previously folded, one sheet with open tear at foot, text unaffected. 
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Catalogue Note

"AND WE SCIENTISTS ARE CLEVER — TOO CLEVER — ARE YOU NOT SATISFIED? IS 4 SQUARE MILES IN ONE BOMB NOT ENOUGH? JUST TELL US HOW BIG YOU WANT IT!"

Drafts for one or more post-Hiroshima talks on the atom bomb, the first likely given very shortly after the dropping of the bomb, the first before Feynman had left Los Alamos for Cornell. All of the manuscripts closely resemble each other in terms of topic and content; two of them have the same 4 underlined sections, and the same phrase quoted by James Gleick in pp 203-204 in Genius, under the same heading of "Skill & Knowledge":

"Other people are not being hindered in the development of the bomb by any secrets we are keeping.... But soon they will be able do to Columbus, Ohio, and hundreds of cities like it what we did to Hiroshima. And we scientists are clever — too clever — are you not satisfied? Is 4 square miles in one bomb not enough? Just tell us how big you want it!"

The manuscript on yellow lined paper (quoted in Gleick's Genius, p 203) has an outline of a talk to be given by Feynman on the atom bomb written in pencil to the verso in a hand other than Feynman's. While it is not signed, it is very possibly in the hand of Edward Teller, who had requested that Feynman give a series of lectures on the atom bomb.  It begins: "5 m. 1. : Illustrate the destructive powers of the bomb. 10m. 2. No monopoly. 5m. 3. No defense. 5m. 4. No security until we have control on a world level. " 

In 1947, Feynman received an invitation from R.D. Richtmeyer of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory to attend a nuclear physics conference that was being planned (see Michelle Feynman, ed. Perfectly Reasonable Deviations, p. 75); it is possible that at least one of these manuscripts is a draft for that talk, as one of the paragraphs reads:

"The brotherhood which we are attempting this week is not a viewpoint to have for seven days. Nor is it simply a concept to be kept in mind for all time. Brotherhood must be a program of action... And this cooperation is not simply a desirable thing. Cooperation is a necessity for the survival of a great fraction of the vast population of the earth — you, and I included."

History of Science & Technology, Including the Nobel Prize and Papers of Richard P. Feynman

|
New York