Leo Szilard Online

Deutsch | Español | Francais | Italiano | Português - - translation by AltaVista

Leo Szilard, near Oxford, spring 1936.
Photo copyright U.C. Regents; used by permission.
Contact Mandeville Special Collections Library, U.C. San Diego, for information on obtaining Szilard images.

Welcome to the world of physicist, biophysicist, and "scientist of conscience" Leo Szilard (1898-1964). How do you say it? Say SIL-ahrd.

Szilard's ideas included the linear accelerator, cyclotron, electron microscope, and nuclear chain reaction. Equally important was his insistence that scientists accept moral responsibility for the consequences of their work.

In his classic 1929 paper on Maxwell's Demon, Szilard identified the unit or "bit" of information. The World Wide Web that you now travel, and the computers that make it possible, show the importance of his long-unappreciated idea.

This is an Internet Historic Site. On 30 March 2000, this page celebrated its 5-year anniversary on the Internet.

NEW! The voice of Leo Szilard.
"Are We On The Road To War?" Leo Szilard and the speech that launched the Council for a Livable World. Learn the story, read the speech, and hear Szilard answer questions in RealAudio.
The 100th anniversary of Szilard's birth was celebrated in 1998 in both Hungary and the U.S.A.. On 9-11 February, a Centenary Conference was held in Budapest. One of the sessions convened in the Hungarian Parliament. This page of photographs of the Budapest events by Gene Dannen and William Lanouette includes information about the published conference volume. In addition, Hungary issued a Szilard postage stamp and telephone card. On 18 April, a Szilard centennial session was held at the April Meeting of the American Physical Society. An APS news story about the session is online, plus abstracts of the talks and the full text of the talks by Edward Gerjuoy, William Lanouette, and George Marx.
"The Einstein-Szilard Refrigerators" by Gene Dannen in the January 1997 issue of Scientific American. Translations have been published in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Polish, Spanish, and perhaps other languages. For more information, see this page of further references and notes to the article. The full article is not available on the Web -- please visit your library.

Aaron Novick 1919-2000

Aaron Novick, Leo Szilard's longtime collaborator in molecular biology, died December 21, 2000 at the age of 81. ...MORE

New Publications

* The Odd Couple and the Bomb, by William Lanouette. Scientific American, November 2000. Szilard and Fermi's collaboration to achieve the nuclear chain reaction. Article not online.
* Szilard as Inventor: Accelerators and More, by Valentine Telegdi. Physics Today, October 2000. The full article is online.


* Leo Szilard - A Biographical Chronology.
* Leo Szilard the Inventor -- full text of a talk delivered at the Budapest Centenary.
* Photographs of Szilard's boyhood house in Budapest.
* Remembering Leo Szilard - In RealAudio.
* Leo Szilard, Interview: "President Truman Did Not Understand."
* Albert Einstein - F.B.I. interview.
* Leo Szilard and Ernest O. Lawrence - 1935 photo. (35k, downloadable)
* Books and articles -- further reading

Atomic Bomb

* Atomic Bomb: Decision - A collection of documents on the decision to use the first atomic bombs, and Szilard's attempts to prevent this -- including his July 17, 1945 petition to President Truman.
* Einstein's letter to Roosevelt, August 2, 1939 - Images of the letter, and how it came to be written.
* Guides to web sites with Hiroshima-Nagasaki information:
* Web Links to Hiroshima.
* Web Links to Nagasaki.
* Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Nuclear Weapons - Links.

External Links

Leo Szilard's unpublished papers and correspondence are held by the Mandeville Special Collections Library, University of California, San Diego. The full Register of the Leo Szilard Papers is online.

The Leo Szilard Lectureship Award, given yearly by the American Physical Society, honors "outstanding accomplishments by physicists in promoting the use of physics for the benefit of society." Formerly the Leo Szilard Award for Physics in the Public Interest, it was endowed as a Lectureship in 1998 after a successful fundraising campaign by the A.P.S. Forum on Physics and Society. The Award's dolphin statue is shown in this APS new story.

Photos of Szilard also may be found on these pages:
The Conception of a European Laboratory for Molecular Biology
Pictures of Famous Physicists (Szilard with Einstein)
Images Of Physicists (Fermi, Szilard and Met Lab scientists)
This page of Einstein: Image and Impact (Szilard with Einstein)
The Emilio Segre Visual Archives at the AIP Center for History of Physics has 11 pictures online.

Leo Szilard Online has received visitors from more than 100 countries and every continent, including Antarctica. It is listed in Yahoo and all other major Web directories. Other sites with links to this page, or its subpages, include:

WWW Virtual Library - History of Science, Technology and Medicine
The Internet Pilot To Physics (TIPTOP)
International Relations and Security Network
Council for a Livable World
A-Bomb WWW Museum
The Exploratorium - Remembering Nagasaki
The High Energy Weapons Archive
Jayne Loader's Public Shelter featuring scenes from The Atomic Cafe

Albert Einstein Online
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
American Institute of Physics, Center for History of Physics
Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing, Chapter 1
TIME.com Person of the Century (Albert Einstein)
and many of the sites on this page...

This website is maintained by Gene Dannen, who is solely responsible for its content.
First created: March 30, 1995 -- Last modified: December 23, 2000
URL: http://www.dannen.com/szilard.html
Gene Dannen / gene@dannen.com