FANDOM


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Edward Teller, 1954

Strategic Defense InitiativeEdit

See Project Excalibur

In the 1980s, Teller began a strong campaign for what was later called the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), derided by critics as "Star Wars," the concept of using ground and satellite-based lasers, particle beams and missiles to destroy incoming Soviet ICBMs. Teller lobbied with government agencies—and got the approval of President Ronald Reagan—for a plan to develop a system using elaborate satellites which used atomic weapons to fire X-ray lasers at incoming missiles—as part of a broader scientific research program into defenses against nuclear weapons.[1]

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Teller became a major lobbying force of the Strategic Defense Initiative to President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

Scandal erupted when Teller (and his associate Lowell Wood) were accused of deliberately overselling the program and perhaps had encouraged the dismissal of a laboratory director (Roy Woodruff) who had attempted to correct the error.[2] His claims led to a joke which circulated in the scientific community, that a new unit of unfounded optimism was designated as the teller; one teller was so large that most events had to be measured in nanotellers or picotellers.[3]

In 1987 Teller published a book supporting civil defense and active protection systems such as SDI which was titled Better a Shield than a Sword and his views on the role of lasers in SDI were published, and are available, in two 1986-7 laser conference proceedings.[4][5]

ReferencesEdit

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  2. Scheer SCHEER, Robert (July 17, 1988). "The Man Who Blew the Whistle on 'Star Wars': Roy Woodruff's Ordeal Began When He Tried to Turn the Vision of an X-ray Laser into Reality". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1988-07-17/magazine/tm-9636_1_x-ray-laser. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
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  4. Wang, C. P. (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Lasers '85 (STS, McLean, Va, 1986).
  5. Duarte, F. J. (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Lasers '87 (STS, McLean, Va, 1988).