What is the 1967 experiment that proved that even a person with little knowledge can design nuclear weapons?

In 1963, US President

John F. Kennedy said at a press conference, ``In the 1970s, there were 15 to 20 nuclear-armed states in the world, and these states could bring about the danger of nuclear war.'' expressed concern over nuclear proliferation. This is because from 1945 to 1963 after World War II, multiple countries such as the United States, France, and the Soviet Union conducted nuclear tests, and the number of nuclear-armed countries was increasing rapidly. As if to make that concern a reality, in 1967 a team of physicists with no nuclear expertise in the United States succeeded in designing a nuclear weapon using only information available in the public domain. It has been proven that anyone with the resources can build a nuclear weapon.

1960s 'Nth Country Experiment' Foreshadows Today's Concerns Over the Ease of Nuclear Proliferation

The 1967 Experiment That Proved Anyone Can Design a Nuclear Weapon | Amusing Planet


In 1964, China reported that it had successfully tested a 22-kiloton

nuclear weapon at the Lop Nur test site, making it the fifth country in the world and the first country in Asia to possess nuclear weapons. In response to reports of China's successful nuclear test, the United States was concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the proliferation of nuclear-weapon states.

In the same year, the United States, concerned about nuclear proliferation, at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, in 1964, had highly intelligent physicists design and build nuclear weapons, even without access to classified information. I have checked if it is possible.

The experiment employed three physicists with little background in nuclear physics: Dave Dobson, David Pipcorn, and Rob Selden, all of whom were publicly disclosed. I was given the task of designing a reliable nuclear weapon using only public domain information. Mr. Pipcorn left the mission immediately, so the experiment was conducted by Mr. Dobson and Mr. Selden.

At that time, Mr. Dobson and Mr. Selden had limited knowledge of nuclear weapons, and had no knowledge of the Trinity test , the atomic bombing of Hiroshima , or the atomic bombing of Nagasaki . Also, I had seen only a simple display model of the nuclear fission reaction , and had not received any specialized education on nuclear fission.

In addition, the project, which has restricted access to confidential information, automatically classified the drawings and notes created by both of them. Also, in order to verify the design of Mr. and Mrs., it was necessary to submit a detailed description of 'what kind of points you want to test' to the laboratory.

This project required a complicated procedure in which an expert conducted a test based on the submitted instructions, and the results were returned to them over several days. However, both said that they were proceeding with the project without being able to determine whether the returned verification results were from actual tests or from hypothetical calculations.

One of the problems that Dobson and Selden had in designing the nuclear weapon was the choice of the explosion style of the nuclear weapon. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima city had a simple design and equipment, but the '

gun-barrel type ', which contains many materials that cause nuclear fission reactions, was adopted. On the other hand, the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki city had a complicated structure. However, the 'implosion method' using an implosion lens , which reduces the amount of material required for the nuclear fission reaction, was adopted. Theoretically, the hardest part was procuring the materials needed for the fission reaction, so they used the implosion method to design the nuclear weapon.

Selden said, ``The gun barrel type requires a large amount of material, but the effect of dropping is limited. On the other hand, the implosion method is complicated, but it requires less material and produces a stronger effect.'' said.

After that, as a result of two and a half years of research and development, Mr. Dobson and Mr. Selden submitted documents detailing the design drawings of nuclear weapons and related materials to the laboratory. The documents submitted by both men were written at a level that could be manufactured at a general machine factory, despite the documents regarding advanced weapons such as nuclear weapons.

After submitting the documents, both men were bombarded with questions from government officials. Mr. Dobson and Mr. Selden were bombarded with questions from government officials. Both said, ``I didn't know if the research I had been doing for three years had produced results at that time.''

After the reports by Mr. Dobson and Mr. Selden, Mr. Jim Frank, a senior researcher at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, told them, 'This verification was a great success.' 'If the reported nuclear weapon had been manufactured, it would have caused damage similar to that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.'

On the other hand, Mr. Dobson said, 'I have a strong concern that it turned out to be easy for people without knowledge to create nuclear weapons.' ``In the 1960s, it was possible to prevent unauthorized access by storing ideas and materials related to nuclear weapons as confidential information, but now that the Internet has developed, you can freely obtain the necessary information.'' ``The combination of specialized knowledge and resources obtained from libraries and the Internet has made it easier for individuals, including terrorists, to manufacture nuclear weapons,'' he warns.

After that, Mr. Selden became a member of the U.S. Air Force's Scientific Advisory Board, but after Mr. Dobson's experience in designing nuclear weapons, he believed that ``we should not actively contribute to the arms race''. , It has been revealed that it has withdrawn from the field related to nuclear weapons.

in Science, Posted by log1r_ut