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Silencing the Bomb : One Scientist's Quest to Halt Nuclear Testing - Lynn R. Sykes

Silencing the Bomb

One Scientist's Quest to Halt Nuclear Testing

Hardcover Published: 12th November 2017
ISBN: 9780231182485
Number Of Pages: 304
For Ages: 22+ years old

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In December 2016, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved their iconic "Doomsday Clock" thirty seconds forward to two and a half minutes to midnight, the latest it has been set since 1952, the year of the first United States hydrogen bomb test. But a group of scientists - geologists, engineers, and physicists - has been fighting to turn back the clock. Since the dawn of the Cold War, they have advocated a halt to nuclear testing, their work culminating in the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which still awaits ratification from China, Iran, North Korea - and the United States. The backbone of the treaty is every nation's ability to independently monitor the nuclear activity of the others. The noted seismologist Lynn R. Sykes, one of the central figures in the development of the science and technology used in monitoring, has dedicated his career to halting nuclear testing. In Silencing the Bomb, he tells the inside story behind scientists' quest for disarmament. Called upon time and again to testify before Congress and to inform the public, Sykes and his colleagues were, for much of the Cold War, among the only people on earth able to say with certainty when and where a bomb was tested and how large it was. Methods of measuring earthquakes, researchers realized, could also detect underground nuclear explosions. When politicians on both sides of the Iron Curtain attempted to sidestep disarmament or test ban treaties, Sykes was able to deploy the nascent science of plate tectonics to reveal the truth. Seismologists' discoveries helped bring about treaties limiting nuclear testing, but it was their activism that played a key role in the quest for peace. Full of intrigue, international politics, and hard science used for the global good, Silencing the Bomb is a timely and necessary chronicle of one scientist's efforts to keep the clock from striking midnight.

Industry Reviews

Lynn R. Sykes has a long record of using seismology to study the important question of how to differentiate nuclear explosions from earthquakes. That experience makes him uniquely qualified to present this cautionary tale about the sclerotic process by which well-founded scientific insight filters its way into the politically loaded formulation of national policy-particularly defense policy. -- Daniel Davis, Stony Brook University

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. A Hurried Trip to Moscow in 1974 to Negotiate the Threshold Nuclear Test Ban Treaty2. Development and Testing of Nuclear Weapons3. From the Early Negotiations to Halt Nuclear Testing to the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 19634. Attempts to Hide Nuclear Tests: The Big-Hole Evasion Scheme5. U.S. Overestimation of Sizes of Soviet Underground Explosions: 1961-19746. New Methods to Identify Underground Tests: 1963-19737. Congressional Hearings on a Comprehensive Test Ban8. Peaceful Nuclear Explosions9. Heated Controversies Over Yields of Soviet Tests and an Unsuccessful Attempt at a CTBT10. Continued Debate About Yields, Accusations of Soviet Cheating on the Threshold Treaty, and Its Entry Into Force11. Renewed Interest in a CTBT, the OTA Report, and the Group of Scientific Experts: 1979-199612. Dealing with "Problem" or "Anomalous" Events in the USSR and Russian Republic: 1972-200913. Negotiating the Comprehensive Test Ban: Global Monitoring, 1993-201614. Monitoring Nuclear Tests Sites and Countries of Special Concern to the United States15. Senate Rejection of the CTBT in 199916. The CTBT Task Force and the 2002 and 2012 Reports of the National Academies17. Strategic Nuclear Weapons: Soviet and U.S. Parity18. Nuclear War, False Alarms, Accidents, Arms Control, and Ways ForwardGlossary and AbbreviationsReferencesIndex

ISBN: 9780231182485
ISBN-10: 0231182481
Series: Columbia Business School Publishing
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 12th November 2017
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Number: 1

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