edited by M. Shifman and translated from the Russian by James Manteith
In the 1930s German and Russian scientists of Jewish origin were treated quite differently. The German scientists were automatically “guilty” if they had more than one eighth Jewish “blood.” In Russia they had to be guilty of doing something. Until October 1941 Jews were encouraged to leave Germany and most …
When the particle known as the muon was discovered, in 1936, the then-future Nobel laureate I.I. Rabi famously asked, “Who ordered that?” The Standard Model is a tight mathematical structure, with a specific symmetry; it likes things in threes and simply does not allow for another, fourth neutrino. If these results from MiniBooNE prove correct, then, it will once again show just how odd neutrinos are. But as the Italians say, Se non è vero, è ben trovato. Even if it’s not true, it’s a good story.
The IAEA has certified that—some minor violations aside—the Iranians have implemented the agreement. What happens if there is no agreement? The IAEA inspectors would leave the country and the program would restart at full bore. Most experts estimate that it would be a matter of months before the Iranians built their first bomb. The notion that President Trump has of somehow getting a “better deal” is delusional. There is no better deal. The Iranians have everything they need to make nuclear weapons—including uranium. The JCPOA is our best, and perhaps our only, chance of preventing Iran from getting the bomb.
The US now has a president-elect who has openly suggested that our allies take responsibility for their own nuclear deterrence. If, say, South Korea or Saudi Arabia began to pursue a bomb, how likely might they be to succeed? History offers us a number of insights about this. Among the countries that succeeded were Israel and South Africa and among those that didn’t were Libya and Iraq.