Leo Szilárd

(b. Feb 11, 1898, Budapest, d. May 30, 1964, La Jolla, California)

Szilárd received his primary, secondary and part of his university education in Budapest. Later he went on to finish his engineering degree in Berlin, where also studied physics under Einstein and Planck. He received his doctorate in physics with the highest mark from Einstein for his dissertation on phenomenological thermodynamics. To escape the Nazis he fled to England and later to the US. Szilárd together with Fermi conceived nuclear fission, achieved the first sustained nuclear chain reaction. Szilárd was the first to realize the potential use of nuclear fission in an atomic bomb. Eventhough together with Eugene Wigner, he convinced Einstein, the scientific community, and the President of the USA to start the Manhattan Project, later, he devoted much of his life toward nuclear disarmament, preventing the harmful use of nuclear energy and shared Atoms for Peace Award with Eugene Wigner.

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