THE ATOM: Progress Report

In a cryptic, 20-word sentence, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Defense Department last week gave a progress report on the H-bomb. Said a joint press release: recent "successful" atomic tests at Eniwetok "included experiments contributing to thermonuclear weapons research."

AEC and the Defense Department would not elaborate, but the reference to "thermonuclear weapons" provided grounds for some informed guesses. Scientists have long known that the only way in sight to start the fusion of hydrogen atoms is by extreme heat—and the only known way to generate such heat is by an atomic explosion. Thus, an atom bomb would have...

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