Obama and Russian Ambassador’s Dalliance with Nucleons

Thumbnail sketches about Sergey Kislyak, Russian Ambassador to the United States, skip over his university pedigree. Sergey is a graduate of Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI), far from a proletariat technical trade school. MEPhI, nearly on par with Moscow State -- at least in the Soviet era -- was perhaps the premier institute to train physicists with a single focus: the behavior of neutrons and protons in building nuclear weapons. Period. Nuclear physicists are a brilliant lot, yet their world can be as dense as an osmium bunker. Often preoccupied with lofty mathematical abstractions, nuclear nerds can be bored with neutrons sticking together, promoting humdrum harmony, or be exhilarated by a neutron’s acceleration as a singular projectile, fracturing an isotope of uranium or plutonium, with apocalyptic consequences. And when protons get out of whack, radioactive chaos reigns. All binary melodrama; not much nuance in the world of nuclear brainiacs. Chemists,...(Read Full Article)