Edward Teller was a Hungarian-American theoretical physicist who is known colloquially as “the father of the hydrogen bomb”, although he did not care for the title, and was only part of a team who developed the technology. Throughout his life, Teller was known both for his scientific ability and for his difficult interpersonal relations and volatile personality. Teller was born in Hungary in 1908, and emigrated to the United States in the 1930s, one of the many so-called “Martians”, a group of prominent Hungarian scientist émigrés. He made numerous contributions to nuclear and molecular physics, spectroscopy, and surface physics. His extension of Enrico Fermi’s theory of beta decay, in the form of Gamow–Teller transitions, provided an important stepping stone in its application, while the Jahn–Teller effect and the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller theory have retained their original formulation and are still mainstays in physics and chemistry.
|Born:||January 15, 1908, Budapest, Austria-Hungary|
|Died:||September 9, 2003, Stanford, California, U.S.|
|Citizenship:||Hungary, United States (March 6, 1941)|
|Institutions:||George Washington University, University of Göttingen, Bohr Institute, University College London, Manhattan Project, University of Chicago, Florida Institute of Technology, University of California, Davis, University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory|
|Alma mater:||University of Karlsruhe, University of Munich, University of Leipzig|
|Doctoral students:||Laszlo Tisza (1932), Charles Critchfield (1939), Marvin L. Goldberger (1948), Boris Jacobsohn (1947), Yang Chen-Ning (1949), Lincoln Wolfenstein (1949), Marshall Rosenbluth (1949), Hans-Peter Dürr (1956)|
|Other notable students:||Jack Steinberger|
|Known for:||Jahn–Teller effect, Ashkin–Teller model, Hydrogen bomb|
|Notable awards:||13-982 National Medal of Science, 1980 Eringen Medal, 1975 Harvey Prize, 1962 Enrico Fermi Award, 1958 Albert Einstein Award|
|IMDb:||Edward Teller’s IMDb|
About Edward Teller
Father of the hydrogen bomb who raised the bar for warfare’s destructive capabilities.
He fled Germany as Hitler rose to power after receiving his doctorate in Leipzig.
He pushed for the U.S. to develop a hydrogen bomb after the Soviets demonstrated they had atomic capabilities as well.
His parents thought he was mentally retarded because he did not speak until the age of three.
He and President Harry S. Truman shared the conviction that to keep the Soviets at bay the United States needed a more powerful bomb.
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- The Martians (scientists) – “The Martians” was a term used to refer to a group of prominent Hungarian scientists who emigrated to the United States in the early half of the 20th century. Leó Szilárd, who jokingly suggested that Hungary was a front for aliens from Mars, used this term.
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