In World War I, when the British did not dragoon their scientists as sternly as in this one, somebody asked gruff Sir Ernest Rutherford (later Lord Rutherford) if he would please stop puttering with the atom and work full time on antisubmarine devices. Rutherford answered, in effect: Gentlemen, I am trying to split the atom. If I succeed, it will be more important than the war.

He did succeed, in 1919, and he was right about its importance.

Worldwide Ferment. Some of the dazed publicity that last week followed the unveiling of...

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