Questions tagged [world-war-2]

The second World War was a major war that took place in the 1940's, which involved many of the world's most powerful states.

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classified dissertations in WWII

What were the most important classified doctoral dissertations in physics and/or mathematics written by grad students during WWII on any or all sides of the war (US, UK, Japan, Soviet Union, Germany, ...
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Scientific Collaborations during World War

Nowadays, scientific progress is often based on very big collaborations, like the discovery of gravitational waves by the Ligo and Virgo collaborations. But also in many other branches of science, ...
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How did the US get enough U235 for "Little Boy"

The answer to a different question (Where did Fermi get the U235 for the first nuclear pile) about U235, was that Fermi used natural uranium for his reactor. This explains, in particular, the origin ...
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Other than Franco Rasetti, how many scientists refused to work on the Manhattan Project on moral grounds?

Franco Rasetti was an American-Italian physicist. He was born in Italy and obtained his laurea in physics at the university of Pisa. Fermi invited him to join his research group at the University of ...
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Where can I find the historical information or the stats related to Winning WW2 with the minimum actions using The Bombe Machine of Alan Turing?

I am doing a marathon of data visualizations with real world datasets. I am interested in historical war datasets. Does anybody know about the historical data on The Bombe Machine cracking the codes ...
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Why was André Weil in Finland?

E.g. here it says: During the Second World War André Weil was first imprisoned in Finland, accused of spying, then after being returned to France he was put into Rouen prison convicted of being a ...
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First Recognition of the Atom Bomb

I was recently reading an essay by Churchill titled “Fifty Years Hence” from 1932, wherein he discusses the inevitability that scientists will "spark a nuclear bonfire", he was apparently ...
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Was 'Operation Paperclip' controversial at the time?

With the benefit of hindsight we tend to look back at the the decision to bring ~2000 Nazi Scientists to the US after WW2 with a well deserved level of cynicism. But reading into some of the history ...
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How was mathematics used in World War II to "act on the right amount of intelligence"?

In the movie "The Imitation Game", Alan Turing along with his team crack the German encryption machine Enigma but advises his superiors to not act on all decrypted intelligence, as that might lead to ...
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Was Richard Feynman really awarded a patent for a nuclear Airplane and Rocket?

I've been re-reading "Surely you're Joking Mr. Feynman", and at one point he talks about how at Los Alamos they were asked to write down any idea, no matter how obvious involving nuclear technology, ...
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What new physics was discovered or needed as a result of the Manhattan Project?

I originally asked this question on the Physics StackExchange and was told to migrate it here. I've tightened up the question a bit. I recently got into a discussion with colleagues regarding ...
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What work did Hideki Yukawa do during the Second World War?

Yukawa received a Nobel Prize in 1949 for predicting the pi meson but while in Japan he published his theory which explained the interaction between protons and neutrons in 1935. What work did he do ...
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Was the United Kingdom the only faction in the Second World War that used Operations Research?

I'm aware of work done by the Army Operational Research Group from the United Kingdom's Ministry of Supply. I know Stigler's Diet Problem came out in 1939, if I'm recalling that correctly. However, I ...
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Does war speed up technological advancements and research?

I've heard of Nazi Germany developing many a technology that we still use today and that communications technology such as the telegraph came about due to wartime needs. I was wondering to what ...
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Why did it take an army of physicists, working on a huge complex, so long to produce a working nuclear device, while it seems so easy in theory?

I think most of us know about the construction of the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos, with Robert Oppenheimer (who said he became "The destroyer of worlds", which goes to show he regretted his ...
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To what extent were the scientists involved in the Manhattan project aware of the goals?

I want to understand the extent to which scientists and technicians employed in the Manhattan project understood that they were building a bomb that would kill hundreds of thousands of people. ...
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Why didn't Germany succeed in building a nuclear bomb in second world war?

Otto Hahn (a german) found out about nuclear fission in 1938, so that should have given the Germans a head start in developing a nuclear bomb. However they did not succeed in doing so during WWII. I'...
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Why were British WWII computing machines and their projects destroyed after the war ended?

I've seen from a number of sources that both the Colossus and the cryptological bombes operating for England were dismantled after the war ended. The Wikipedia article even says that all of Colossus' ...
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Nobel Prize work derived from Manhattan Project research?

There are quite a few Nobel Prize winners (e.g. Physics) who worked on the Manhattan project in the development of the atomic bomb. But, did any Nobel Prize result from direct research performed on ...
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Why was the V-2 not a solid rocket, and/or what is the scientific history of solid rockets?

Why was the V-2 rocket made with ethanol and liquid oxygen, which had a specific impulse of 215 seconds at sea level, when a solid rocket using APCP gets 237 seconds? In addition, a solid rocket ...
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Which German scientists had their Nobel Prizes seized during World War II?

George de Hevesy famously dissolved the Nobel Prizes of Max von Laue and James Franck during the German invasion of Denmark. The Nazis had prohibited any German scientist from receiving or keeping a ...
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Mathematical counterintelligence at Bletchley during World War 2

Popular works of fiction claim that after breaking the Enigma in Bletchley, some sophisticated mathematics or statistical techniques were used to hide this fact of breaking (not necessarily by the ...
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