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Samuel Theodore Cohen

Cohen, Samuel Theodore, 1921–2010, American physicist known as the "father of the neutron bomb," b. Brooklyn, N.Y., grad. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, 1943. He worked on the Manhattan Project, becoming an expert on the radiological effects the atomic bomb, and subsequently worked (1947–69) for the Rand Corporation. As a consultant to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he developed (1958) the neutron bomb, a modification of the hydrogen bomb that is designed to produce lethal neutron radiation but no long-term radioactive contamination. Seeing the neutron bomb as a weapon tailored to destroy the enemy on the battlefield, Cohen was a advocate of the device's deployment as a tactical weapon, but despite a successful test the bomb was not produced by the United States until the 1980s and was never deployed. He wrote a number of books on the neutron bomb and nuclear warfare.

See his memoir (2000, pub. online).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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