Prologue: Fornebu Airport, March 12, 1940. Manchester and Paris, 1919. The neutron. Heavy water. Artificial radioactivity. Nuclear fission. Heavy water revisited. The British initiative. Germany army ordnance takes charge. Heavy water takes center stage. America joins the quest. Action vemork. Neutrons despite bombs. Wavering outlook for heavy water. Canada enters the race. Fears and facts on the continent. Swabian Jura and upper telemark: final events. Hiroshima revealed; further contestants for nuclear energy. Epilogue. Appendices. Abbreviations. Notes. Select bibliography. Name index. Subject index.
Dahl, Per F
"With his newest work of science history, ... Dahl pulls off the
remarkable feat of delivering both a scholarly work and a
nail-biting thriller. ... Per Dahl recounts all these events and
many more. There is wisdom in his judicious treatment of persistent
historical debates, including the rancorous argument that still
rages about the motivations of Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, and the
other members of the German 'Uranium Club.' His style is lively,
his research thorough, his organization superb. Fortunately [the
publisher] has matched Dahl's efforts by giving Heavy Water and the
Wartime Race for Nuclear Energy the scholarly apparatus and
handsome production it deserves."
-K. Paul Preuss, Current
"Dahl manages to combine scientific accuracy with a compelling storyline that keeps the pages turning. Like his cathode-ray book, the volume is meticulously researched. It is a remarkable read."
-Gordon Fraser, CERN Courier
"The story of heavy water during World War II may be a familiar one, if only from the 1962 movie 'The Heroes of Telemark.' But Dahl's book fills many of the gaps left in previous accounts by concentrating on the underlying technology and scientific arguments. The military adventure is cleverly interwoven with the scientific. The accounts of the commando raid on the Norsk Hydro plant and the bombing of the ferry are particularly gripping. Dahl also has a talent for sketching characters, and portrays a much more interesting and diverse cast than the 1962 movie's composite presentation of Kirk Douglas as the 'playboy scientist' and Richard Harris as the hotheaded Norwegian partisan."
-Chemistry and Industry
"This is a superbly researched book ... and an excellent read. Even someone with little knowledge of those turbulent times will enjoy it. ... The story of D2O is very much alive, and this book tells vividly its distinguished pedigree."
"... a well-informed and up-to-date account of the history of nuclear physics up to 1945."
"... Per Dahl has produced a tour de force, leading the reader from the dawn of the nuclear era through the sabotage of the heavy water plants, and integrating those events with activities of British and American nuclear physicists."
-American Journal of Physics
"Per Dahl's unique qualifications make Heavy Water a success ... Dahl and his publishers also deserve praise for providing a good choice of unusual photographs, a 'Chronology of Heavy Water,' and superb notes, bibliography, and indices."
-Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 16
"Per Dahl has written an outstanding, fascinating account of the discovery and applications of heavy water in the wartime race for nuclear energy, one that specialists and the general public alike will find intriguing."
-David C. Cassidy, Physics Today
"The historical scope of this book is much greater than the title would imply ... It is clear that Per Dahl has chosen to tell a story full of action and high drama."
-A.P. French, Professor Emeritus of Physics, MIT
"With a history replete with stories of secrecy, jealousy, even international intrigue, Dahl ... has written a quasi-spy novel that sacrifices little or no technical accuracy. He brings to lay readers readily understandable 50-year history of nuclear developments ..."
-J.G. Morse, Colorado School of Mines