Leo Szilard, Hungarian-US physicist

Leo Szilard, Hungarian-US physicist

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Credit: US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Leo Szilard (1898-1964), Hungarian-US nuclear physicist and developer of the atomic bomb. Szilard, along with Enrico Fermi, patented the first nuclear reactor and built it in 1942 at the University of Chicago, USA. He was one of the founders of the WWII Manhattan Project, the effort to produce a nuclear bomb before the Axis powers. This led to the production of the first nuclear weapons. Realising their power, Szilard and several other scientists campaigned for the weapons to be used as deterrents only. 300,000 Japanese civilians were killed as a result of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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