Nation: How the Neut Came to Be

"It's sort of a mini-hydrogen bomb," says Weapons Analyst Samuel T. Cohen of the so-called neutron bomb. Cohen should know. In the late 1950s, as a Rand Corp. consultant to the Air Force, he was the first to draw the military's attention to the possibility of making a new type of nuclear weapon. It would do the bulk of its damage not by heat or concussive force, but by a flood of high-energy subatomic particles called neutrons. Cohen, who has no academic credentials beyond a bachelor's degree from U.C.L.A., wanted to create a relatively "clean weapon" that produced a minimum of...

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