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GOP Tickles the Dragon’s Tail


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GOP Tickles the Dragon’s Tail

Michael Winship

On May 21, 1946, less than a year after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, physicist Louis Slotin performed a dangerous experiment his colleagues at Los Alamos called “tickling the dragon’s tail.” He took two half-spheres of beryllium, each containing a plutonium core, and brought them together as close to critical mass as he could without triggering a nuclear chain reaction.