Institute of Physics public lectures
The Institute of Physics Yorkshire and the North East Branch provides a varied programme of evening lectures. Everyone is welcome and all the lectures are free of charge. No tickets are required – just turn up!
All lectures start at 5pm, with tea and coffee served from 4.20pm. Lectures take place in the Hicks Building, Hounsfield Road, Sheffield, S3 7RH.
Postponed until the Autumn semester, exact dates to follow
Trinity – The treachery and pursuit of the most dangerous spy in history
Frank Close OBE, Oxford University
Trinity was the codename for the test explosion of the atomic bomb in New Mexico on 16 July 1945. Frank Close tells the story of the bomb's metaphorical father, Rudolf Peierls (who discovered the concept in Birmingham in 1940); his intellectual son, the atomic spy Klaus Fuchs who worked with him in Birmingham and Los Alamos; and the ghosts of the security services in Britain, the USA and USSR. Frank will reveal new insights from MI5 files in the National Archives, and documents of the FBI and KGB. He has also overthrown a misconception lasting 60 years that J Edgar Hoover was central to Fuchs' exposure: the real hero was probably GCHQ. By using FOI and contacts abroad to access documents that remain classified in the UK, he has also found evidence that Fuchs passed information about the Hydrogen bomb to the USSR as early as September 1945. For the first time, Fuchs' role on the top secret British A bomb project from 1946 to his arrest in 1950 is examined, not least how Fuchs used this to cover his tracks when meeting his Soviet contact in London.
Frank Close OBE is Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics at Oxford University, and Emeritus Fellow of Exeter College. He won the IOP's Kelvin Medal for outstanding communications in the public understanding of physics in 1996, and the Royal Society Faraday Medal for excellence in science communication in 2013. He is the author of 19 popular books on physics; today's talk is based on his latest book "Trinity" - copies will be available at the talk.