Abelson, Philip H. "An Investigation of the Products of the Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons", in the Physical Review, 1 July 1939, volume 56, pp 1-9, with 19 illustrations. In the original wrappers.
First edition. $200
"This is the first experiment definitely showing that a transuranic active element was actually an isotope of an ordinary one"--Lewis Turner, Nuclear Fission, pp 10.
Joliot, Frederic. "Sur la phenomene de recul et la conservations de
la quantite de mouvement", in Comptes Rendus, 4 May 1931, volume 192, pp
1105-1107. In the original wrappers, removed from larger bound
volume. Good condition.
_____. “Preuve expérimentale de la rupture explosive des noyaux
d’uranium et de thorium sous l’action des neutrons,” in Comptes rendus . . . des sciences,208
_____. “Observations par la méthode Wilson des trajectoires de
brouillard des produits de l’explosion des noyaux d’uranium,” ibid., 208 (1939), 647;
_____ with L. Dodé. H. von Halban, L. Kowarski) “Sur l’é des
neutrons libérés lors de la partition nucléaire de l’uranium,” in Comptes rendus . . . des science, 208 (1939), 995.
Four papers, all with their wrappers, all removed from larger bound volumes. The four: $500
Perrin, Francis. "Calcul relatif aux conditions eventuelles de transmutation en chaine de l’uranium", in Comptes Rendus, volume 208, No.18. Pp. (1369-) 1444, with Perrin's paper on pp. 1394-96. Offered in the original wrappers, removed from a larger bound volume.
Provenance: U.S. Weather Bureau Library (stamped "May 25, 1939"). Good copy.
Also in this issue:
Hans von Halban, Lew Kowarski and Paul Savitch,
"Sur la capture simple des neutrons et des neutrons de résonnance par
l'uranium". Pp. 1396-1398.
"Calcul relatif aux conditions eventuelles de
transmutation en chaine de l'uranium", in the Comptes Rendus, 1 May 1939, no.
18, pp 1394-1396, in the original wrappers, removed.
Otto Hahn. "Einige Besonderheiten der bei der Kernspaltung des Urans und Thors entstehenden künstlichen Atomarten", in Annalen der Physik Volume 428, Issue 3-4, pages 368–372, 1939. The issue, removed from a larger bound volume. Festschrift issue for the 60th birthday of Max von Laue. $50
Strassmann, F. (1939). "Über den Nachweis und das Verhalten der bei der
Bestrahlung des Urans mittels Neutronen entstehenden Erdalkalimetalle".
Die Naturwissenschaften27: 11.
(On the detection and characteristics of the alkaline earth metals formed by irradiation of uranium with neutrons)
____. Nachweis der Enstehung aktiver Bariumisotope aus Uran und Thorium durch Neutronenbestrahlung' Nachweis weiterer aktiver Bruchstucke bei der Uranspaltung. Page 89
____. Uebervdie Bruchstucke beim Zerplatzen des Urans 163
____. Zur frage nach dervEzistenz der "Trans-Urane". Page 451
____. Weite Spaltproduckte aus der Bestrahlung des Urans mit Nuetronen. Page 529.
____. F. Strassmann und S. Fluegge. ueber einige Bruchstuckebeim Zerplatzendes Thoriums.
All in Die Naturwissenschaften volume 27. The volume of 862pp. Bound in half-leather, cloth boards. Some problems with the spine, chipping top and bottom, and ex-library with the usual stamps. Good if unpretty binding, sharp and clean interior. $450
Seaborg, Glenn T. and Arthur Wahl. "The Chemical Properties of Elements 94 and 93". Pp 1128-1134. In: Journal of the American Chemical Society. Vol. 70, No. 3x. the issue removed from a larger bound volume. $125
First appearance in print of the secret 1942 report made to the Uranium Committee summarizing the research done in 1941 and early 1942--clearly the paper had an enormous impact in the development of the war. This is the work for which Seaborg and McMillan were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1951. Source Book in Chemistry 2, 251.
ITEM: The Concentration of Essential Personnel in American Cities. Margaret Bright Rowan. The RAND Corporation, May 1956. 72pp. 11x8 inches. RARE. No copies located in WorldCat/OCLC $350.00
Perhaps nothing is obvious unless it is established or labeled so;
perhaps the obviousness must be stated at least once before it can be
officially, recognizably, the case. And perhaps the greater the
obviousness is, the more the need to make it officially so. Perhaps
nothing is so incredibly obvious that it can be studied and dissected
This seems to be more the case in more recent history than in time
more further removed: that millions of dollars can be spent “proving”
that children do not like to be separated from their mothers, or that
cars will go faster downhill than up, or that people will respond to
proper medication better than not, and so on, so on into the night,
just seem not to need a vastly-funded proof.
And so the case with nuclear warfare, people, and cities.
In this RAND report from 1956, the great issue seems to be laid to
rest, once and for all: the problem with nuclear weapons being exploded
in/over cities is that since cities are filled with people, people
will be killed. And if those people in the cities are there because of
professions that depend on city-settings, then more of those people
will be killed than not.
But what this report was really about was the unfortunate aspect of
the impact if nuclear warfare on leadership and working positions in
significant and strategic industrial/business/government professions.
And what the report finds is this: since the vast majority of these
positions are located in cities (defined as 100,000 population and
above), and since cities will be the major targets in a nuclear
“exchange”, the overwhelming majority of these people will be killed,
thus leading to strategic human resource vacancies post-war.
It seems that 95% of aeronautical engineers in the U.S. would be
killed in a nuclear war, which I guess would mean that it would be
difficult to design new aircraft and such in the post apocalypse
world. Of course these people would be killed because it was their
industrial base that was being targeted and they were collateral
damage, so there wouldn’t be any industrial base to produce the
components necessary to build, say, a B-52. That part of the equation
is not addressed here, though. Nor is there any sort of recommendation
presented to fix the problem.
The RAND document just painfully points out the obvious, once and
for all; no one really knew what to do with the information now that it
was there, in black and white. Certain people could be evacuated,
saved from the maelstrom; but saved for what? There were other
evacuation plans that were completely doomed from the beginning,
sheltering plans, Dr. Strangelove arrangements, but all of that would
come into their pitiful being later on.
First, though, the bitter reality of what everyone already knew--one
of the greatest of all obviousnesses–had to be make its appearance in
print. And so it did.
Henry DeWolf Smyth. "Atomic Energy for Military Purposes", Being the entire issue for October, 1945, of Reviews of Modern Physics, pp 351-491. Original printed wrappers.
Two copies, the first, fine: $100
The second, a Good copy. $125 Formerly the copy of Al Wattenberg, a present-at-the-creation physicist under the stands at Chicago in 1942 (as we read from University of Illinois/Urbana:
In 1941, Al was close to finishing his PhD but the war effort intervened. Fermi invited Al to join his group, studying the fission of uranium. The group included Herb Anderson, Bernard Feld, Walter Zinn, and Leo Szilard. As a young and talented instrumentalist, Al learned to use Geiger counters, served as a draftsman and a machinist, and maintained and built photon and neutron detectors. Herb Anderson trained Al to make neutron sources and, after 1943, Al made and maintained all the radium and beryllium sources for the entire Manhattan Project. He also worked with Fermi on measuring the neutron activity in the uranium graphite structure. It was here that Al observed Fermi’s enormous thoroughness and redundancy in experimental work, an example that affected Al’s approach to experiments for the rest of his life.
In 1942, the group moved from New York to the University of Chicago. They made quick progress in controlled fission, working 18-hour days, while learning about the theory of chain reactions at lectures given by Fermi. The construction of the first pile started on November 16, 1942. On December 2, 1942, the group obtained the first controlled nuclear chain reaction. Eugene Wigner presented Fermi with a bottle of Chianti, which everybody present signed. As a young member of the group, Al cleaned up after the event—and kept the historical bottle until 1980, when he donated it to Argonne National Laboratory.
The Smyth Report is a significant event in the history of physics as it preemptively determined the stuff that could and couldn't be publicly discussed about the making of the bomb. Even the cautious and methodical Lee Groves came 'round fairy quickly to the publication of the Report, which made its first appearance in print in a separately printed format just 12 days after the explosion at Hiroshima.
Lise Meitner. "Ueber die Wellenlaenge der Gamma-Strahlen", in Die Naturwissenschaften, 21 April 1922. volume 166, pp 381-384 pf the weekly issue, this deovoted to 10 years of the Laue diagram. Wrappers; removed from larger bound volume. Good copy. $75