Ede  Teller's Memorial

Ede Teller
(1908 - 2003)


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General Details

Name: Prof Ede Teller
Gender: Male
Age: 95 years old
Lived: Wednesday, 15 January 1908 - Tuesday, 9 September 2003

My Story

Edward Teller (original Hungarian name Teller Ede) (January 15, 1908 – September 9, 2003) was a Hungarian-American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb", even though he claimed that he did not care for the title.[1] Teller is best known for his work on the American nuclear program, specifically as a member of the Manhattan Project during World War II, his role in the development of the hydrogen bomb, and his long association with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (which he co-founded and served as a director). He invited contention in the 1950s by his controversial testimony in the security clearance hearing of his former Los Alamos colleague Robert Oppenheimer, and thus became ostracized by much of the scientific community. He continued to find support from the U.S. government and military research establishment, particularly for his advocacy for nuclear energy development, a strong nuclear arsenal, and a vigorous nuclear testing program. In his later years, he became especially known for his advocacy of controversial technological solutions to both military and civilian problems, including a plan to excavate an artificial harbor in Alaska using thermonuclear explosives. He was a vigorous advocate of Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, though he was accused of overselling the feasibility of the project. Over the course of his life, Teller was known both for his scientific ability and his difficult interpersonal relations and volatile personality, and is considered one of the inspirations for the character Dr. Strangelove in the 1964 movie of the same name .

Teller was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary) to a Jewish family. He left Hungary in 1926 at the age of 18. The political climate and revolutions in Hungary during his youth instilled a lingering animosity for both Communism and Fascism in Teller.[3] When he was a young student, his leg was severed in a streetcar accident in Munich, requiring him to wear a prosthetic foot and leaving him with a life-long limp. Teller graduated in chemical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe and received his Ph.D. in physics under Werner Heisenberg at the University of Leipzig. Teller's Ph.D. dissertation dealt with one of the first accurate quantum mechanical treatments of the hydrogen molecular ion. In 1930 he befriended Russian physicists George Gamow and Lev Landau. Teller's life-long friendship with a Czech physicist, George Placzek, was very important for Teller's scientific and philosophical development. It was Placzek who arranged a summer stay in Rome with Enrico Fermi for young Teller, thus orienting his scientific career in nuclear physics.[4] Teller spent two years at the University of Göttingen, and left in 1933 through the aid of the International Rescue Committee. He went briefly to England, and moved for a year to Copenhagen, where he worked under Niels Bohr. In February 1934, he married "Mici" (Augusta Maria) Harkanyi, the sister of a longtime friend. In 1935, thanks to George Gamow's incentive, Teller was invited to the United States to become a Professor of Physics at George Washington University (GWU), where he worked with Gamow until 1941. Prior to the discovery of fission in 1939, Teller was engaged as a theoretical physicist, working in the fields of quantum, molecular, and nuclear physics. In 1941, after becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States, his interest turned to the use of nuclear energy, both fusion and fission.

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Fathers Name: Teller Miksa
Country of Birth: Hungary
Country of Residence: USA
City of Residence: Kalifornia
Occupation: Science & Technology
Religion: Jewish


Other Interests:


Place of Passing: Kalifornia
Date of Passing: 9 September 2003
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