, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 406-433

Nuclear Physics in Norway, 1933–1955

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In the late 1940s and the 1950s, Norwegian nuclear scientists, engineers, and administrators were deeply split over their nation’s goals, organization, politics, and tools for research in nuclear physics. One faction was determined to build a nuclear reactor in Norway, while another fiercely opposed the reactor plans and focused on particle accelerators. The first faction comprised scientific entrepreneurs and research technologists, the second academic scientists, most of whom began their research careers in nuclear physics in the 1930s. To understand this conflict, I trace the development of nuclear research in Norway from the early 1930s to the mid-1950s, placing it within an international context.

Roland Wittje is working on his habilitation thesis in the History of Science Unit at the University of Regensburg, Germany.