Atom Quotes

When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry.

Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless, and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new. (written in his diary 25th July 1945, just before he gave the OK for bombing Hiroshima rather than Tokyo or Kyoto)

I am afraid the knockabout comedy of modern atomic physics is not very tender towards our aesthetic ideals. The stately drama of stellar evolution turns out to be more like the hair-breadth escapades in the films. The music of the spheres has a painful suggestion of – jazz.

Dean Acheson took Oppenheimer into the Oval Office and introduced him to Truman. Oppenheimer said, ‘I have blood on my hands.’ Truman claims that he responded to Oppenheimer by saying, ‘Never mind, it will all come out in the wash.’ Then Truman cut short the interview… Acheson was called back into Truman’s presence… Truman shouted […]

Nor do I take into account a danger of starting a chain reaction of a scope great enough to destroy part or all of the planet. But it is not necessary to imagine the earth being destroyed like a nova by a stellar explosion to understand vividly the growing scope of atomic war and to […]

Just how sensitive and on edge the world had become (over the possibility of the Korean War leading to a general war) was demonstrated when the words “atomic bomb” were mentioned at my press conference on November 30 (1951). At the press conference I made the remark that “we will take whatever steps are necessary […]

Let no one think that the expenditure of vast sums for weapons and systems of defense can guarantee absolute safety for the cities and citizens of any nation. The awful arithmetic of the atomic bomb does not permit any such easy solution.

It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler’s crowd or Stalin’s did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful.

Atom bomb stockpiles are no guarantee of security. Until lust and greed and murder are removed from the hearts of men, there is, there can be, no peace or security.

To my mind radio-activity is a real disease of matter. Moreover, it is a contagious disease. It spreads. You bring those debased and crumbling atoms near others and those too presently catch the trick of swinging themselves out of coherent existence… I am haunted by a grotesque fancy of the ultimate eating away and dry-rotting […]