Leo Szilard Online

Eistein's Letter to FDR


Leo Szilard 1898 - 1964

In 1922, he received a doctorate in physics from University of Berlin. There he met and developed a relationship with Albert Einstein. In 1933, he moved to London to escape the Nazi's anti-jewish agenda. While there, he conceived and patended the idea of a nuclear chain reaction.

In 1939, he urged scientists to keep their nuclear research a secret so Germany would not advance their atomic bomb program. In August of that year, he drafts a letter to President Roosevelt that he has Einstein sign urging the Americans to build a bomb.

On December 2, 1942, Szilard and Enrico Fermi were successful in creating the first controlled nuclear chain reaction within the famous Chicago Pile.

Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard, the Man Behind the Bomb