Physics Colloquium: Prof. Frank N. von Hippel, Princeton University


Location: 127 Nieuwland Science Hall (View on map )

The Continuing Risk of Nuclear War How Citizen-Scientists Can Help Reduce the Threat

Prof. Frank N. von Hippel
Senior research physicist and professor of public and international affairs emeritus
with Princeton’s Program on Science & Global Security

The danger of deliberate nuclear use diminished with the end of the Cold War but has increased again with President Putin’s threats of nuclear use in case NATO crosses an undefined line in its support of Ukraine.

A large fraction of U.S. and Russian strategic missiles remain in their Cold War launch-on-warning postures. The danger of accidental nuclear war may have increased in an era when hackers are able penetrate our most sensitive computer systems.

With both Russia and the U.S. actively replacing their nuclear weapons with “modern” versions, China building up its nuclear arsenal and six other nuclear-armed states, there is no end in sight. Physicists, starting with Niels Bohr and Leo Szilard, invented nuclear arms control. It is time to engage again. The American Physical Society has supported the establishment of a new Physicists Coalition for Nuclear Threat Reduction – now numbering 700 – to help physicists educate themselves and their Representatives and Senators on the dangers and policies that could reduce them.

Frank N. von Hippel, a nuclear physicist by training, is emeritus professor of public and international affairs at Princeton University. The focus of his research and policy activism is on nuclear arms control and nonproliferation. He co-founded Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security and, during 1993-4, served as Assistant Director for National Security in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Hosted by Prof. Brodeur