Klaus Fuchs

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Klaus Emil Julius Fuchs (29 December 1911 – 28 January 1988) was a German theoretical physicist and atomic spy who in 1950 was convicted of supplying information from the American, British and Canadian atomic bomb research (the Manhattan Project) to the USSR during and shortly after World War II. While at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Fuchs was responsible for many significant theoretical calculations relating to the first fission weapons and later, the early models of the hydrogen bomb, the first fusion weapon.[1][2]


Early life

Fuchs was born in Rüsselsheim, Grand Duchy of Hesse, the third of four children to Lutheran pastor Emil Fuchs and his wife Else Wagner. Fuchs' father was later a professor of theology at Leipzig University.[1] He became an active Quaker, both in Germany, England, and in the United States.[2] Fuchs' grandmother, mother, and one sister eventually committed suicide, while his other sister was diagnosed as schizophrenic.[2]

Fuchs attended both Leipzig University and Kiel University, and while at Kiel became active in politics. Young Fuchs joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany and, in 1932, the Communist Party of Germany. In 1933, after a violent encounter with the recently installed Nazis, he fled to France and was then able to use family connections to flee to Bristol, England. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Bristol in 1937, studying under Nevill Mott, and took a DSc at the University of Edinburgh while studying under Max Born. His paper on quantum mechanics, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society in 1936, helped win him a teaching position at Edinburgh the following year.[1][2]

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