Sir William Penney

The developer of the British atomic bomb studied at Imperial College of Science, the University of London, Wisconsin (USA) and Cambridge. At the age of 27, he returned to Imperial College in London as a professor of mathematics.
From 1940 he worked for the British Ministry of Procurement as an air pressure expert. From 1944 he worked in Los-Alamos on the atomic bomb, to which he contributed the development of the firing mechanism. Penney was involved in preparations for the bombing of Japan and as an observer in the attack on Nagasaki. He later became Britain’s scientific adviser on atomic control issues to the United Nations.
From 1944 he was listed as “Head of the Weapons Research Department” at the Ministry of Procurement, but devoted himself exclusively to the development of the British bomb, the first detonation of which occurred in 1953. From 1953 to 1959 he served officially as director of the British Nuclear Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston, developing the British hydrogen bomb until 1957.

Zurück zur Übersicht