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.
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
Background and Draft Papers and Proposals for the Vannevar Bush group working on the Question of the Control of Atomic Weapons
Behind-the -scenes documents on the formalization of the American position regarding the use and control of atomic weapons, October 1945-February 1946.
37 documents relating to the development of U.S. atomic policy, October 1945-January 1946, with contributions by President Harry Truman, Secretary of State James Byrnes, Dr. Vannevar Bush, AEC director Carroll Wilson, Alger Hiss, I.I. Rabi, William Shockley, Frederick Dunn, Joseph E. Johnson, Leo Pasvolsky, Philip Morrison, Col. Nicholls, William McRae, Admiral W.H.P. Blandy, George L. Harrison, and others. $7500.00
An example--and perhaps one of the most interesting documents--from this archive:
William Shockley. The Economics of Atomic Bombing. 11x8 inches, 5 leaves, carbon copy, about 1500 words.
The William Shockley paper was written towards the end of 1945 and is on five pages and runs about 1500 words. He begins the paper with a logical statement of the issue of the economics of conventional and atomic bombing, ending with the sentence “For atomic bombing destruction is still more cheap”. What Shockley is getting to is the overall cost of the amount of destruction caused per square mile, and the conclusion that he draws over these five pages is the destruction caused by the atomic bomb is 1/100th the cost of conventional bombing per square mile destroyed (“atomic bombing is probably 10 to 100 times cheaper than ordinary bombing”).
Shockley also recognizes that the problem in the near future will be the increasing cheapness of producing atomic (and greater) weapons, and their developing accessibility to small nations. “This cheapness is a new factor and indicates that an unparalleled loss of human resources will accompany future wars. The ability of small nations to do great damage is also a consequence of the cheapness.” He writes further that taking this thinking to its “logical conclusion”, that at some point in the future a single individual will be able to use this new technology to destroy the world. The main point though that he was making in this line of thinking was the dispersion and proliferation of the new technology--that an arms race would occur, and that it would be dangerous, and that it could be very very bad. Shockley has of course nothing to say about any of that or the implications of his finds as that was not his charge.
After figuring that the cost of destruction by the atomic bomb was about $600,000 per square mile (compared to $6,500,000 per square mile for conventional bombing), Shockley concludes that “since the atomic bomb art is in its infancy, we may well expect future economies of a factor of 10 in cost per square mile destroyed…”
Shockley on the likelihood of casualties during the final invasion of Japan.
(The following three paragraphs are taken entirely from CASUALTY PROJECTIONS FOR THE U.S. INVASIONS OF JAPAN, 1945-1946: PLANNING AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS by D. M. Giangreco in the Journal of Military History, 61 (July 1997): 521-82
“As for Dr. Shockley's initial report to Dr. Bowles, it was not submitted until after Stimson had left for Potsdam. He proposed that a study be initiated "to determine to what extent the behavior of a nation in war can be predicted from the behavior of her troops in individual battles." Shockley utilized the analyses of Dr. DeBakey and Dr. Beebe, and discussed the matter in depth with Professor Quincy Wright from the University of Chicago, author of the highly-respected A Study of War; and Colonel James McCormack, Jr., a Military Intelligence officer and former Rhodes Scholar who served ! in the OPD's small but influential Strategic Policy Section with another former Rhodes Scholar, Colonel Dean Rusk. Shockley said:
"If the study shows that the behavior of nations in all historical cases comparable to Japan's has in fact been invariably consistent with the behavior of the troops in battle, then it means that the Japanese dead and ineffectives at the time of the defeat will exceed the corresponding number for the Germans. In other words, we shall probably have to kill at least 5 to 10 million Japanese. This might cost us between 1.7 and 4 million casualties including [between] 400,000 and 800,000 killed."--W. B. Shockley to Edward L. Bowles, 21 July 1945, "Proposal for Increasing the Scope of Casualties Studies," Edward L. Bowles Papers, box 34, Library of Congress. ... No accurate total of German military and civilian deaths was available at the time he prepared his report, but the number was eventually set at roughly 11,000,000. was not invaded and finished the war with just over 7,000,000 casualties, most of them from its armed services on the Asian mainland in fighting from September 1931 to September 1945.
Contents: (1) Abstract; (2) Provenance; (3) Note on the Manner of Investigation; (4) Outline; (5) Authors and Contributors; (6) the Documents, Chronological Listing; (7) the Documents, alphabetical listing, in table.