The Martians from Budapest

I write this as some sort of a follow up to my previous post, after reading Scott Alexander's article about the Hungarian physicists working on the Manhattan project. I would like to add two observations:

Szilard, Teller, Wigner and von Neumann were obviously great physicists - but they were not in the same league as e.g. Heisenberg, Pauli, Dirac or Einstein.
There are several anecdotes about the great intelligence and mathematical abilities of on Neumann, but a high IQ seems necessary but not sufficient to be a genius of the Einstein league and I would even rank e.g. Gödel higher.

If the four from Budapest were indeed the product of Martians who visited the Earth at the end of the 19th century, I would suggest that those aliens probably tried to plant the seeds of our destruction.
Teller and von Neumann became fierce cold warriors and almost got us all wiped off the earth ...

--------

added later: In the spirit of the old Austro-Hungarian empire, let me also mention the contributions of Austrians to the development of nuclear weapons.
Lise Meitner was the first to understand what Hahn and Strassmann had observed.
Her nephew Otto Frisch was the first to understand the importance of fast neutrons and how a practical atomic bomb could be made.
Victor Weisskopf was group leader of the theory division at Los Alamos.
Gernot Zippe developed centrifuges for isotope separation used after the war, which made it possible for poor countries to obtain nuclear weapons.

captology ...

... or how Facebook persuaded its users to click on ads.




Captology at wikipedia
Captology at Stanford
Psychology of Facebook

Mike



I don't know if CIP is still reading Dark Sun, but I thought this video of the Ivy Mike shot might be interesting:
It shows only the first milliseconds and therefore not the usual mushroom cloud.
Early on one can see lightning triggered by the explosion.
The bright dots are actually vaporized pieces of the 80t cooling device.
The size of the fireball at the end of the video is approximately 5km.

added later: Some more information about the first milliseconds of nuclear explosions and a picture of Teller light.