As probably the historian who has spent the most time researching World War II secret atomic parents, I can confirm that a) there is no single patent for the atomic bomb (there are many!), b) none of them have Hirohito listed as an author (ht @pashulman) Image
There are patent applications that cover the atomic bombs themselves. They are still classified and have never been granted. They can never be granted under the Atomic Energy Act, as it prohibits patents on nuclear weapons. Read my article for details: alexwellerstein.com/publications/w…
A while back I FOIAed the names/titles/dates for the still-secret "patents of the atomic bomb," and it's mostly the standard Los Alamos scientists you all know about. Oppenheimer. Bethe. Teller. Von Neumann. A few lower-level folks are the only surprises.
We have exactly one declassified page from these still-secret patents, and it's below. This is for the Fat Man bomb design, with J. Robert Oppenheimer assigned as the patent holder. Los Alamos declassified it a few years ago so they could put the image on T-shirts. Image
But anyway... the notion that Hirohito would in any way be involved with this is... bizarre. I know from prior experience that the Japanese conspiracy theorists have as much unhingedness around Hirohito as Republicans do around the Clintons, but it still strikes me as bizarre.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with Alex Wellerstein

Alex Wellerstein Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @wellerstein

19 Oct 20
This week in my nuclear class we looked at security and loyalty in the 1950s, and read and talked at length about the Oppenheimer security hearing. I asked the students whether they would have, based on the hearing transcripts, restored or stripped Oppenheimer's clearance:
As you can see, most thought they'd strip it, and even those in favor of restoring it did so on the basis that it was just a political hearing anyway, and had no real consequences (since his clearance was about to expire anyway).
As I said to them, I suspect they'd feel differently if I had framed it in a more pro-Oppenheimer way, the way it is usually portrayed popularly.
Read 5 tweets
6 Oct 20
For awhile I've thought the framing of the "crazy President" for nuclear use authority — e.g., in which a POTUS might get up one day and have VERY WILD ideas about nukes — was not a great one, because real mental illness doesn't suddenly appear overnight.
But I did not anticipate the current conditions of the Presidency — a POTUS who appears extremely in denial about being sick, self-discharging while on heavy drugs, essentially allowed to dictate his own care. COVID-19 does not go away in 3 days. He looks quite sick.
This is a completely bizarre situation. Short of the 25th Amendment — a huge decision under any conditions, obviously not one any of his cabinet or cronies are willing to invoke a few months from an election — it appears nobody has any control over this very sick man.
Read 7 tweets
23 Sep 20
About this time last year I was thinking very seriously about what the future of academic talks and conferences would be, if we took climate change seriously and stopped flying everywhere on jets so regularly.

Now we know! Better for the environment, for sure, but not as good.
As an aside, I would have thought, by now, that there would be a whole host of AMAZING software offerings for the "next gen" of teaching/conferencing online, given that engine of "disruption" that is Silicon Valley. But instead we just have Zoom, which is Skype for More People.
Where are the apps that will help replicate the need to have side conversations while listening with one ear to the main conversation? Where are the apps that will make us feel embodied and not just a bunch of floating heads?
Read 6 tweets
11 Sep 20
When I'm teaching history to undergraduates, I always point out that if you take a historical figure's birthdate, and add about 20 to that, you get the foundational years that shape their view of the world. It's a way to make the ubiquitous birthdates in historical texts useful.
For me, that gets you 2001, and I do think much of my worldview and mindset got fixed into place by 9/11. I was on another coast, don't get me wrong. But there was an experience that got seared into the minds of all Americans that day, especially younger ones.
(Before anyone wants to school me on the difference in experiences between people who were in NYC and people who were not — I know. My wife was in NYC on 9/11. But the non-NYC experience is still an experience.)
Read 8 tweets
7 Sep 20
Is there any software paradigm I loathe more than Apple's file versioning system? It only applies to a handful of programs that Apple itself makes, it makes an absolute mess out of saving new files, and half of the time it screws itself up and won't let me save things.
I mean, is there anything more straightforward in principle than opening up an old file, modifying it, and wanting to save it with a new file name? For someone who routinely updates old files or uses them as templates, this is just my bread and butter.
But with Keynote or the other twelve or so programs that use this model, you have to either remember to make a copy of the old file first, OR you have to do a tedious "Duplicate" action and then Revert all of the changes in the original. Is the "Save As" command such a sin?
Read 4 tweets
30 Aug 20
Tenure file submitted. I have a found an accurate image depicting what writing one of these things does to a person. But it does feel good to have it out the door. Fingers crossed...!
My experience is that non-academics don't really understand why the tenure thing is such a stressor. Here is how I explain it to students: After 6 years, I compile a +80 dossier of everything I've ever done, asking the university to please make it impossible for them to fire me.
Several committees and administrators look it over. They have only two options:
1. They can choose to make it (almost) impossible to fire me, giving me a job for life
2. They decide never to re-hire me again, and I have a few months to find a new job
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!