[PAST EVENT] Physics Colloquium - Frank N. von Hippel

March 29, 2024
4pm - 5pm
Small Hall, Room 111
300 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Access & Features
  • Open to the public
von Hippel

Frank N. von Hippel, Senior Research Physicist and Professor of Public and International Affairs emeritus, Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University, Title of talk: Danger of nuclear war: Physicists can help!

Abstract: Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Indeed, the danger of accidental nuclear war may be increasing. US and Russian strategic missiles remain in a launch-on-warning posture in an era when hackers have penetrated some of our supposedly most secure computer systems. China appears to be moving toward a similar posture.

Both Russia and the United States have committed to hugely costly programs to replace their nuclear weapons with new systems designed to maintain that status quo for the remainder of the century. Meanwhile, an offense-defense nuclear arms race is developing between the US and China, which is building up the number of its nuclear weapons that can reach the US as the US increases the number of its ballistic missile interceptors – nominally to defend against North Korea.

In the past, independent physicists have played leading roles in informing Congress and the world about the dangers and offering ideas for how to reduce them – both unilaterally and through agreements with our adversaries. The American Physical Society sponsored the Physicists Coalition for Nuclear Threat Reduction, https://physicistscoalition.org , during its first two years to help renew the engagement of physicists and other physical scientists and engineers with Congress and the public on nuclear-weapons issues.

For those interested, the speaker will be happy to discuss opportunities to work with the Physicists Coalition, including its Next Generation Fellowships, before the colloquium. Interested students can come to Small 122 at noon or can meet individually in the afternoon. Email Marc Sher, [[mtsher]], if you want to set up an individual meeting.

Sponsored by: Physics