Solution for Approaching Quantum Computing 1st Edition Chapter 1, Problem 1

by Dan C. Marinescu Gabriela M. Marinescu
70 Solutions 6 Chapters 10490 Studied ISBN: 9780131452244 Electrical Engineering 5 (1)

Chapter 1, Problem 1 : 1.2 How did the political turmoil in 1930s...

1.2 How did the political turmoil in 1930s and 1940s Europe influence the relations between the great physicists Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr,  Werner Heisenberg,  and John von Neumann, as well as their lives?1

Step-By-Step Solution

1.2 How did the political turmoil in 1930s and 1940s Europe influence the relations between the great physicists Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr,  Werner Heisenberg,  and John von Neumann, as well as their lives?1

Discussion points:

Important events in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s:

In 1933, Hitler and a Nazi government came to power in Germany. In 1939, Germany invaded of Poland and the Second World War beganThe war ended in 1945 with the capitulation of Germany (May) and then Japan (August).

Niels Bohr continued to work in Copenhagen after the Nazi occupied Denmark in 1940,

but in 1943 he escaped to Sweden.  He spent the last two years of the war in England and then in the Unites States where he was associated with the Manhattan Project.

Albert Einstein renounced his German citizenship in 1933 for political reasons and emigrated to the United States. In 1934 he published his, now-famous, paper with Podolski and Rosen2 in which the concept of entanglement was used to question the completeness of the quantum theory.

In August 1939, he wrote a letter to President Roosevelt advising him about the discovery of nuclear fission, the possibility of building extremely powerful bombs based on this phenomenon, and urging the President to support experimental work in this direction.

Werner Heisenberg remained in Germany after Hitler came to power watching the decline

of the scientific activity around him; many of his colleagues were fired by the Nazis and emigrated to the United States or other countries.  Heisenberg was attacked in SS papers for his apparent sympathy for his Jewish colleagues. In 1939 he was called up for military service. At the time he was the leading physicist in Germany and the Nazis expected him to help develop a nuclear bomb. In 1941, Heisenberg and his colleagues built a nuclear reactor. After the war it became apparent that Heisenberg did not know how to make a nuclear bomb. Transcribed conversations recorded secretly at Farm Hall, near Cambridge, England where Heisenberg and other German scientists were being detained in 1945 by Allied military and intelligent services, show that he failed to grasp the limiting condition of an explosive chain reaction until after Hiroshima. He maintained long after the war ended that while visiting Bohr in occupied Denmark he tried to convey the message that, deliberately, he was not going to pursue research and development of a nuclear device in Germany. The controversy about what role he played in the Nazis attempt to build a nuclear bomb is still not resolved.

John von Neumann came to the United States in the early 1930s not as a war refugee, but with an appointment at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton. In 1933 he resigned the academic position he had in Germany. He was deeply involved in the Manhattan Project and in the development of the first electronic computer.

Max Planck felt that it was his duty to remain in his country during the Nazi regime, but

was openly opposed to the Nazis policies.  One of his sons was executed by the Nazis for his part in a failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in 1944.


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