Linus Carl Pauling was an American chemist, peace activist, author and husband of American human rights activist Ava Helen Pauling. He published books, of which about 850 dealt with scientific topics. New Scientist called him one of the 20 greatest scientists of all time, as of 2000, he was rated the 16th most important scientist in history. Pauling was one of the founders of the fields of molecular biology, his contributions to the theory of the chemical bond include the concept of orbital hybridisation and the first accurate scale of electronegativities of the elements. Pauling worked on the structures of biological molecules, showed the importance of the alpha helix and beta sheet in protein secondary structure. Pauling's approach combined methods and results from X-ray crystallography, molecular model building and quantum chemistry, his discoveries inspired the work of James Watson, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin on the structure of DNA, which in turn made it possible for geneticists to crack the DNA code of all organisms.
In his years he promoted nuclear disarmament, as well as orthomolecular medicine, megavitamin therapy, dietary supplements. None of the latter have gained much acceptance in the mainstream scientific community. For his scientific work, Pauling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. For his peace activism, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962, he is one of four individuals to have won more than one Nobel Prize. Of these, he is the only person to have been awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes, one of two people to be awarded Nobel Prizes in different fields, the other being Marie Curie. Pauling was born in Portland, the first-born child of Herman Henry William Pauling and Lucy Isabelle "Belle" Darling, he was named "Linus Carl", in honor of Lucy's father and Herman's father, Carl. In 1902, after his sister Pauline was born, Pauling's parents decided to move out of Portland, to find more affordable and spacious living quarters than their one-room apartment. Lucy stayed with her husband's parents in Lake Oswego until Herman brought the family to Salem, where he worked as a traveling salesman for the Skidmore Drug Company.
Within a year of Lucile's birth in 1904, Herman Pauling moved his family to Oswego, where he opened his own drugstore. He moved his family to Condon, Oregon, in 1905. By 1906, Herman Pauling was suffering from recurrent abdominal pain, he died of a perforated ulcer on June 11, 1910, leaving Lucy to care for Linus and Pauline. Pauling attributes his interest in becoming a chemist to being amazed by experiments conducted by a friend, Lloyd A. Jeffress, who had a small chemistry lab kit, he wrote: "I was entranced by chemical phenomena, by the reactions in which substances with strikingly different properties, appear. With an older friend, Lloyd Simon, Pauling set up Palmon Laboratories in Simon's basement, they approached local dairies offering to perform butterfat samplings at cheap prices but dairymen were wary of trusting two boys with the task, the business ended in failure. At age 15, the high school senior had enough credits to enter Oregon State University, known as Oregon Agricultural College.
Lacking two American history courses required for his high school diploma, Pauling asked the school principal if he could take the courses concurrently during the spring semester. Denied, he left Washington High School in June without a diploma; the school awarded him an honorary diploma 45 years after he was awarded two Nobel Prizes. Pauling held a number of jobs to earn money for his future college expenses, including working part-time at a grocery store for $8 per week, his mother arranged an interview with the owner of a number of manufacturing plants in Portland, Mr. Schwietzerhoff, who hired him as an apprentice machinist at a salary of $40 per month; this was soon raised to $50 per month. Pauling set up a photography laboratory with two friends. In September 1917, Pauling was admitted by Oregon State University, he resigned from the machinist's job and informed his mother, who saw no point in a university education, of his plans. In his first semester, Pauling registered for two courses in chemistry, two in mathematics, mechanical drawing, introduction to mining and use of explosives, modern English prose and military drill.
He founded the school's chapter of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. After his second year, he planned to take a job in Portland to help support his mother; the college offered him a position teaching quantitative analysis, a course he had just finished taking himself. He worked forty hours a week in the laboratory and classroom and earned $100 a month, enabling him to continue his studies. In his last two years at school, Pauling became aware of the work of Gilbert N. Lewis and Irving Langmuir on the electronic structure of atoms and their bonding to form molecules, he decided to focus his research on how the physical and chemical properties of substances are related to the structure of the atoms of which they are composed, becoming one of the founders of the new science of quantum chemistry. Engineering professor Samuel Graf selected Pauling to be his teaching assistant in a mechanics and materials course. During the winter of his senior year, Pauling taught a chemistry course for home economics majors.
It was in one of these classes that Pauling met his future wife
Amazon.com, Inc. is an American multinational technology company based in Seattle, Washington that focuses in e-commerce, cloud computing, artificial intelligence. Amazon is the largest e-commerce marketplace and cloud computing platform in the world as measured by revenue and market capitalization. Amazon.com was founded by Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994, started as an online bookstore but diversified to sell video downloads/streaming, MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook downloads/streaming, video games, apparel, food and jewelry. The company owns a publishing arm, Amazon Publishing, a film and television studio, Amazon Studios, produces consumer electronics lines including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Echo devices, is the world's largest provider of cloud infrastructure services through its AWS subsidiary. Amazon has separate retail websites for some countries and offers international shipping of some of its products to certain other countries. 100 million people subscribe to Amazon Prime.
Amazon is the largest Internet company by revenue in the world and the second largest employer in the United States. In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization. In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion, which vastly increased Amazon's presence as a brick-and-mortar retailer. The acquisition was interpreted by some as a direct attempt to challenge Walmart's traditional retail stores. In 1994, Jeff Bezos incorporated Amazon. In May 1997, the organization went public; the company began selling music and videos in 1998, at which time it began operations internationally by acquiring online sellers of books in United Kingdom and Germany. The following year, the organization sold video games, consumer electronics, home-improvement items, software and toys in addition to other items. In 2002, the corporation started Amazon Web Services, which provided data on Web site popularity, Internet traffic patterns and other statistics for marketers and developers.
In 2006, the organization grew its AWS portfolio when Elastic Compute Cloud, which rents computer processing power as well as Simple Storage Service, that rents data storage via the Internet, were made available. That same year, the company started Fulfillment by Amazon which managed the inventory of individuals and small companies selling their belongings through the company internet site. In 2012, Amazon bought Kiva Systems to automate its inventory-management business, purchasing Whole Foods Market supermarket chain five years in 2017; as of March 2019, the board of directors is: Jeff Bezos, President, CEO, Chairman Tom Alberg, Managing partner, Madrona Venture Group Rosalind Brewer, Group President, COO, Starbucks Jamie Gorelick, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale, Dorr Daniel P. Huttenlocher and Vice Provost, Cornell University Judy McGrath, former CEO, MTV Networks Indra Nooyi, former CEO, PepsiCo Jon Rubinstein, former Chairman, CEO, Inc. Thomas O. Ryder, former Chairman, CEO, Reader's Digest Association Patty Stonesifer, CEO, Martha's Table Wendell P. Weeks, President, CEO, Corning Inc.
In 2000, U. S. toy retailer Toys "R" Us entered into a 10-year agreement with Amazon, valued at $50 million per year plus a cut of sales, under which Toys "R" Us would be the exclusive supplier of toys and baby products on the service, the chain's website would redirect to Amazon's Toys & Games category. In 2004, Toys "R" Us sued Amazon, claiming that because of a perceived lack of variety in Toys "R" Us stock, Amazon had knowingly allowed third-party sellers to offer items on the service in categories that Toys "R" Us had been granted exclusivity. In 2006, a court ruled in favor of Toys "R" Us, giving it the right to unwind its agreement with Amazon and establish its own independent e-commerce website; the company was awarded $51 million in damages. In 2001, Amazon entered into a similar agreement with Borders Group, under which Amazon would co-manage Borders.com as a co-branded service, Borders pulled out of the arrangement in 2007, with plans to launch its own online store. On October 18, 2011, Amazon.com announced a partnership with DC Comics for the exclusive digital rights to many popular comics, including Superman, Green Lantern, The Sandman, Watchmen.
The partnership has caused well-known bookstores like Barnes & Noble to remove these titles from their shelves. In November 2013, Amazon announced a partnership with the United States Postal Service to begin delivering orders on Sundays; the service, included in Amazon's standard shipping rates, initiated in metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and New York because of the high-volume and inability to deliver in a timely way, with plans to expand into Dallas, New Orleans and Phoenix by 2014. In June 2017, Nike confirmed a "pilot" partnership with Amazon to sell goods directly on the platform; as of October 11, 2017, AmazonFresh sells a range of Booths branded products for home delivery in selected areas. In September 2017, Amazon ventured with one of its sellers JV Appario Retail owned by Patni Group which has recorded a total income of US$ 104.44 million in financial year 2017–18. In November 2018, Amazon reached an agreement with Apple Inc. to sell selected products through the service, via the company and selected Apple Authorized Resellers.
As a result of this partnership, only Apple Authorized Resellers may sell Apple products on Amazon effective January 4, 2019. Amazon.com's product lines available at its website include several media, baby products, consumer electronics, beauty products, gourmet food, groceries and perso
BBC Two is the second flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tends to broadcast more "highbrow" programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio channels, it is funded by the television licence, is therefore free of commercial advertising, it is a comparatively well-funded public-service network attaining a much higher audience share than most public-service networks worldwide. Styled BBC2, it was the third British television station to be launched, from 1 July 1967, Europe's first television channel to broadcast in colour, it was envisaged as a home for less mainstream and more ambitious programming, while this tendency has continued to date, most special-interest programmes of a kind broadcast on BBC Two, for example the BBC Proms, now tend to appear on BBC Four instead. British television at the time of BBC2's launch consisted of two channels: the BBC Television Service and the ITV network made up of smaller regional companies.
Both channels had existed in a state of competition since ITV's launch in 1955, both had aimed for a populist approach in response. The 1962 Pilkington Report on the future of broadcasting noticed this, that ITV lacked any serious programming, it therefore decided that Britain's third television station should be awarded to the BBC. Prior to its launch, the new BBC2 was promoted on the BBC Television Service: the soon to be renamed BBC1; the animated adverts featured the campaign mascots "Hullabaloo", a mother kangaroo, "Custard", her joey. Prior to, several years after, the channel's formal launch, the channel broadcast "Trade Test Transmissions", short films made externally by companies such as Shell and BP, which served to enable engineers to test reception, but became cult viewing; the channel was scheduled to begin at 19:20 on 20 April 1964, showing an evening of light entertainment, starting with the comedy show The Alberts, a performance from Soviet comedian Arkady Raikin, a production of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, culminating with a fireworks display.
However, at around 18:45 a huge power failure, originating from a fire at Battersea Power Station, caused Television Centre, indeed much of west London, to lose all power. BBC1 was able to continue broadcasting via its facilities at Alexandra Palace, but all attempts to show the scheduled programmes on the new channel failed. Associated-Rediffusion, the London weekday ITV franchise-holder, offered to transmit on the BBC's behalf, but their gesture was rejected. At 22:00 programming was postponed until the following morning; as the BBC's news centre at Alexandra Palace was unaffected, they did in fact broadcast brief bulletins on BBC2 that evening, beginning with an announcement by the newsreader Gerald Priestland at around 19:25. There was believed to be no recording made of this bulletin, but a videotape was discovered in early 2003. By 11:00 on 21 April, power had been restored to the studios and programming began, thus making Play School the first programme to be shown on the channel; the launch schedule, postponed from the night before, was successfully shown that evening, albeit with minor changes.
In reference to the power cut, the transmission opened with a shot of a lit candle, sarcastically blown out by presenter Denis Tuohy. To establish the new channel's identity and draw viewers to it, the BBC decided that a promoted, lavish series would be essential in its earliest days; the production chosen was The Forsyte Saga, a no-expense-spared adaptation of the novels by John Galsworthy, featuring well-established actors Kenneth More and Eric Porter. Critically for the future of the fledgling channel, the BBC's gamble was hugely successful, with an average of six million viewers tuning in per episode: a feat made more prominent by the fact that only 9 million were able to receive the channel at the time. Unlike BBC1 and ITV, BBC2 was broadcast only on the 625 line UHF system, so was not available to viewers still using sets on the 405-line VHF system; this created a market for dual standard receivers. Set manufacturers ramped up production of UHF sets in anticipation of a large market demand for the new BBC2, but the market did not materialise.
The early technical problems, which included being unable to transmit US-recorded videotapes due to a lack of system conversion from the US NTSC system, were resolved by a committee headed by James Redmond. On 1 July 1967, during the Wimbledon Championships, BBC2 became the first channel in Europe to begin regular broadcasts in colour, using the PAL system; the thirteen part series Civilisation was created as a celebration of two millennia of western art and culture to showpiece the new colour technology. BBC1 and ITV joined BBC2 on 625-line UHF band, but continued to simulcast on 405-line VHF until 1985. BBC1 and ITV introduced PAL colour on UHF on 15 November 1969, although they both had broadcast some programmes in colour "unofficially" since September 1969. In 1979, the station adopted the first computer-generated channel identification in Britain, with its use of the double striped, orange'2' logo; the ident, created in house by BBC engineers, lasted until March 1986 and heralded the start of computer-generated logos.
As the switch to digital-only terrestrial transmission progressed, BBC Two was the first analogue TV channel to be replaced with the BBC multiplex, at first four two weeks ahead of the other four channels. This was required for those relay transmitters that had no current Freeview service giving vie
Out of the Unknown
Out of the Unknown is a British television science fiction anthology drama series, produced by the BBC and broadcast on BBC2 in four series between 1965 and 1971. Each episode was a dramatisation of a science fiction short story; some were written directly for the series. The first three years were science fiction, but that genre was abandoned in the final year in favour of horror/fantasy stories. A number of episodes were wiped during the early 1970s. A large number of episodes are still missing, although in recent years they have turned up—for example, "Level Seven" from series two broadcast on 27 October 1966, was returned to the BBC from the archives of a European broadcaster in January 2006. Irene Shubik began her career working on educational films for Encyclopædia Britannica Inc in Chicago. Returning to London, she joined ABC Television as a story editor on the anthology series Armchair Theatre in 1960, under producer Sydney Newman. Shubik had been a science fiction fan since college, in 1961 approached Newman with a proposal to create a science fiction version of Armchair Theatre.
This became Out of this World, a sixty-minute anthology series hosted by Boris Karloff that ran for thirteen episodes between June and September 1962. Many of the episodes were adaptations of stories by writers including John Wyndham, Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick. Shubik began work, soon found that finding science fiction stories suitable for adaptation was a difficult task, she recalled “I had to read hundreds of stories to pick a dozen. You have no idea how difficult some of these authors are to deal with, it seems a special thing among SF writers to hedge themselves behind impossible copyright barriers when they have got a story, possible to do on television. So many you can't. Either the conception is so way out you would need a fantastic budget to produce it, or the story is too short, too tight to be padded out to make an hour's television”; when working on Out of this World Shubik had made a valuable contact in John Carnell, a key figure in British science fiction publishing. He was the founder of science fiction magazine New Worlds, agent for many of Britain's science fiction writers.
Carnell was able to suggest authors for her to consider. Shubik received copies of science fiction anthologies from British publishers, sought advice from many authors including Frederik Pohl, Alfred Bester and Robert Silverberg; the latter two admitted to her that they had run into similar difficulties in finding suitable material for television adaptation. She considered asking Nigel Kneale if he would write a new Quatermass story for the series, contacted Arthur C. Clarke regarding the possibility of adapting his novel The Deep Range. In March 1965, Shubik travelled to New York City to negotiate rights with authors whose works she was considering, to seek ideas from US television, to obtain more science fiction anthologies from US publishers. During her visit she met with US science fiction editors and with Isaac Asimov, who granted permission for two of his stories to be adapted on the condition that they could only be shown in the UK: sales to foreign territories were not allowed; the trip to New York would become an annual event for her during her time on Out of the Unknown.
On her return to London, Shubik learned that she had been appointed producer and story editor for the new anthology series. She obtained the services of George Spenton-Foster as her associate producer. Spenton-Foster was a science fiction fan and his wide experience of BBC television production proved invaluable to Shubik. By this stage, she had found the twelve scripts she needed for the series: ten episodes would be adaptations of stories by John Wyndham. G. Ballard and Frederik Pohl. Two original stories—“Stranger in the Family” by David Campton and “Come Buttercup, Come Daisy, Come...?” by Mike Watts—were commissioned. Among those commissioned to adapt the stories were a few notable names in television writing: Terry Nation, creator of the Daleks for Doctor Who and of Survivors and Blake's 7, adapted Bradbury's "The Fox and the Forest" while Troy Kennedy Martin, co-creator of Z-Cars, adapted Pohl's "The Midas Plague". A title for the series had not been decided. Names including Dimension 4, The Edge of Tomorrow and From the Unknown were considered, before Out of the Unknown was settled upon.
The title music was composed by Norman Kay and the title sequence was created by Bernard Lodge. It was intended from an early stage that, as with Boris Karloff on Out of this World, each story would be introduced by a regular host. Christopher Lee and Vincent Price were approached but were not available and the idea was dropped; the episode “Some Lapse of Time” is notable for having Ridley Scott, future director of such films as Alien and Blade Runner, as designer. Out of the Unknown made its debut on Monday, 4 October 1965 at 8pm on BBC2, with Wyndham's “No Place Like Earth” selected as the opening story. Science fiction and fantasy was popular on television, with Doctor Who, The Avengers, The Man from UNCLE and Lost in Space all notable hits at the time. Out of the Unknown, would offer more adult, cerebral fare. Initial audience and critical reaction was mixed, but improved as the series went on with “And
Galaxy Science Fiction
Galaxy Science Fiction was an American digest-size science fiction magazine, published from 1950 to 1980. It was founded by a French-Italian company, World Editions, looking to break into the American market. World Editions hired as editor H. L. Gold, who made Galaxy the leading science fiction magazine of its time, focusing on stories about social issues rather than technology. Gold published many notable stories during his tenure, including Ray Bradbury's "The Fireman" expanded as Fahrenheit 451. In 1952, the magazine was acquired by its printer. By the late 1950s, Frederik Pohl was helping Gold with most aspects of the magazine's production; when Gold's health worsened, Pohl took over as editor, starting at the end of 1961, though he had been doing the majority of the production work for some time. Under Pohl Galaxy had continued success publishing fiction by writers such as Cordwainer Smith, Jack Vance, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg. Pohl never won the annual Hugo Award for his stewardship of Galaxy, winning three Hugos instead for its sister magazine, If.
In 1969 Guinn sold Galaxy to Universal Publishing and Distribution Corporation and Pohl resigned, to be replaced by Ejler Jakobsson. Under Jakobsson the magazine declined in quality, it recovered under James Baen, who took over in mid-1974, but when he left at the end of 1977 the deterioration resumed, there were financial problems—writers were not paid on time and the schedule became erratic. By the end of the 1970s the gaps between issues were lengthening, the title was sold to Galileo publisher Vincent McCaffrey, who brought out only a single issue in 1980. A brief revival as a semi-professional magazine followed in 1994, edited by H. L. Gold's son, E. J. Gold. At its peak, Galaxy influenced the science fiction genre, it was regarded as one of the leading sf magazines from the start, its influence did not wane until Pohl's departure in 1969. Gold brought a "sophisticated intellectual subtlety" to magazine science fiction according to Pohl, who added that "after Galaxy it was impossible to go on being naive."
SF historian David Kyle agreed, commenting that "of all the editors in and out of the post-war scene, the most influential beyond any doubt was H. L. Gold". Kyle suggested that the new direction Gold set "inevitably" led to the experimental New Wave, the defining science fiction literary movement of the 1960s; the first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, appeared in 1926. By the end of the 1930s, the genre was flourishing in the United States, but World War II and its resulting paper shortages led to the demise of several magazines. In the late 1940s, the market began to recover. From a low of eight active US magazines in 1946, the field expanded to 20 just four years later. Galaxy's appearance in 1950 was part of this boom. According to sf historian and critic Mike Ashley, its success was the main reason for a subsequent flood of new releases: 22 more science fiction magazines appeared by 1954, when the market dipped again as a side effect of US Senate hearings into the putative connection between comic books and juvenile delinquency.
H. L. Gold, Galaxy's first editor, had worked at Standard Magazines in the early 1940s as an assistant editor, reading for Standard's three science fiction pulps: Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder, Captain Future. With the advent of the war, Gold left publishing and went into the army, but in late 1949 he was approached by Vera Cerutti, who had once worked for him. Cerutti was now working for a French-Italian publisher, Éditions Mondiales Del Duca founded by Cino Del Duca, that had opened an office in New York as World Editions, she asked Gold for guidance on how to produce a magazine, which he provided. World Editions took a heavy loss on Fascination, its first attempt to launch a US magazine, Cerutti returned to Gold asking for recommendations for new titles. Gold knew about The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, a digest launched in the fall of 1949, but felt that there was still room in the market for another serious science fiction magazine, he sent a prospectus to World Editions that included a proposal for a series of paperback sf novels as well as a periodical, proposed paying three cents a word, an impressively high rate, given that most competing magazines were paying only one cent a word.
World Editions agreed, hired Gold as the editor, the first issue appeared in October 1950. The novel series subsequently appeared as Galaxy Science Fiction Novels. Gold suggested two titles for the magazine, If and Galaxy. Gold's art director, Washington Irving van der Poel, mocked up multiple layouts and Gold invited hundreds of writers, editors and fans to view them and vote for their favorite. For the first issue, Gold obtained stories by several well-known authors, including Isaac Asimov, Fritz Leiber, Theodore Sturgeon, as well as part one of Time Quarry by Clifford D. Simak. Along with an essay by Gold, Galaxy's premiere issue introduced a book review column by anthologist Groff Conklin, which ran until 1955, a Willy Ley science column. Gold sought to implement high-quality printing techniques, though the quality of the available paper was insufficient for the full benefits to be seen. Within months, the outbreak of the Korean War led to paper shortages that forced Gold to find a new printer, Robert M. Guinn.
The new paper was of lower quality, a disappointment to Gold. According to Gold, the magazine was profitable within five issues: an "incredible" achievement, in his words. In
World War III
World War III and the Third World War are names given to a hypothetical third worldwide large-scale military conflict subsequent to World War I and World War II. The term has been in use since at least as early as 1941; some have applied it loosely to refer to limited or smaller conflicts such as the Cold War or the War on Terror, while others assumed that such a conflict would surpass prior world wars both in its scope and its destructive impact. Because of the development and use of nuclear weapons near the end of World War II and their subsequent acquisition and deployment by many countries, the potential risk of a nuclear devastation of Earth's civilization and life is a common theme in speculations about a Third World War. Another major concern is that biological warfare could cause a large number of casualties, either intentionally or inadvertently by an accidental release of a biological agent, the unexpected mutation of an agent, or its adaptation to other species after use. High-scale apocalyptic events like these, caused by advanced technology used for destruction, could make the Earth's surface uninhabitable.
Prior to the beginning of the Second World War, the First World War was believed to have been "the war to end all wars," as it was popularly believed that never again could there be a global conflict of such magnitude. During the Interwar period between the two world wars, WWI was referred to as "The Great War." The outbreak of World War II in 1939 disproved the hope that mankind might have "outgrown" the need for such widespread global wars. With the advent of the Cold War in 1945 and with the spread of nuclear weapons technology to the Soviet Union, the possibility of a third global conflict became more plausible. During the Cold War years, the possibility of a Third World War was anticipated and planned for by military and civil authorities in many countries. Scenarios ranged from conventional warfare to total nuclear warfare. At the height of the Cold War, a scenario referred to as Mutually Assured Destruction had been calculated which determined that an all-out nuclear confrontation would most destroy all or nearly all human life on the planet.
The potential absolute destruction of the human race may have contributed to the ability of both American and Soviet leaders to avoid such a scenario. Time magazine was an early adopter if not originator of the "World War III." The first usage appears in its 3 November 1941, issue under its "National Affairs" section and entitled "World War III?" about Nazi refugee Dr. Hermann Rauschning, who had just arrived in the United States. In its 22 March 1943, issue under its "Foreign News" section, Time reused the same title "World War III?" with regard to statements by then-U. S. Vice President Henry A. Wallace: "We shall decide some time in 1943 or 1944... whether to plant the seeds of World War III." Time continued to entitle with or mention in stories the term "World War III" for the rest of the decade: 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948. Military planners have been war gaming various scenarios, preparing for the worst, since the early days of the Cold War; some of those plans are now out of date and have been or declassified.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was concerned that, with the enormous size of Soviet forces deployed in Europe at the end of WWII and the unreliability of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, there was a serious threat to Western Europe. In April–May 1945, British Armed Forces developed Operation Unthinkable, thought to be the first scenario of the Third World War, its primary goal was "to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire". The plan was rejected by the British Chiefs of Staff Committee as militarily unfeasible. "Operation Dropshot" was the 1950s United States contingency plan for a possible nuclear and conventional war with the Soviet Union in the Western European and Asian theaters. At the time the US nuclear arsenal was limited in size, based in the United States, depended on bombers for delivery. "Dropshot" included mission profiles that would have used 300 nuclear bombs and 29,000 high-explosive bombs on 200 targets in 100 cities and towns to wipe out 85% of the Soviet Union's industrial potential at a single stroke.
Between 75 and 100 of the 300 nuclear weapons were targeted to destroy Soviet combat aircraft on the ground. The scenario was devised prior to the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, it was devised before U. S. President John F. Kennedy and his Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara changed the US Nuclear War plan from the'city killing' countervalue strike plan to a "counterforce" plan. Nuclear weapons at this time were not accurate enough to hit a naval base without destroying the city adjacent to it, so the aim in using them was to destroy the enemy industrial capacity in an effort to cripple their war economy. In January 1950, the North Atlantic Council approved NATO's military strategy of containment. NATO military planning took on a renewed urgency following the outbreak of the Korean War in the early 1950s, prompting NATO to establish a "force under a centralised command, adequate to deter aggression and to ensure the defence of Western Europe". Allied Command Europe was established under General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, US Army, on 2 April 1951.
The Western Union Defence Organization had carried out Exercise Verity, a 1949 multilateral exercise involving naval air strikes and submarine attacks. Exercise Mainb
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or from a combination of fission and fusion reactions. Both bomb types release large quantities of energy from small amounts of matter; the first test of a fission bomb released an amount of energy equal to 20,000 tons of TNT. The first thermonuclear bomb test released energy equal to 10 million tons of TNT. A thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds can release energy equal to more than 1.2 million tons of TNT. A nuclear device no larger than traditional bombs can devastate an entire city by blast and radiation. Since they are weapons of mass destruction, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a focus of international relations policy. Nuclear weapons have been used twice in war, both times by the United States against Japan near the end of World War II. On August 6, 1945, the U. S. Army Air Forces detonated a uranium gun-type fission bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" over the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
S. Army Air Forces detonated a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" over the Japanese city of Nagasaki; these bombings caused injuries that resulted in the deaths of 200,000 civilians and military personnel. The ethics of these bombings and their role in Japan's surrender are subjects of debate. Since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have been detonated over two thousand times for testing and demonstration. Only a few nations are suspected of seeking them; the only countries known to have detonated nuclear weapons—and acknowledge possessing them—are the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, China, India and North Korea. Israel is believed to possess nuclear weapons, though, in a policy of deliberate ambiguity, it does not acknowledge having them. Germany, Turkey and the Netherlands are nuclear weapons sharing states. South Africa is the only country to have independently developed and renounced and dismantled its nuclear weapons.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons aims to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons, but its effectiveness has been questioned, political tensions remained high in the 1970s and 1980s. Modernisation of weapons continues to this day. There are two basic types of nuclear weapons: those that derive the majority of their energy from nuclear fission reactions alone, those that use fission reactions to begin nuclear fusion reactions that produce a large amount of the total energy output. All existing nuclear weapons derive some of their explosive energy from nuclear fission reactions. Weapons whose explosive output is from fission reactions are referred to as atomic bombs or atom bombs; this has long been noted as something of a misnomer, as their energy comes from the nucleus of the atom, just as it does with fusion weapons. In fission weapons, a mass of fissile material is forced into supercriticality—allowing an exponential growth of nuclear chain reactions—either by shooting one piece of sub-critical material into another or by compression of a sub-critical sphere or cylinder of fissile material using chemically-fueled explosive lenses.
The latter approach, the "implosion" method, is more sophisticated than the former. A major challenge in all nuclear weapon designs is to ensure that a significant fraction of the fuel is consumed before the weapon destroys itself; the amount of energy released by fission bombs can range from the equivalent of just under a ton to upwards of 500,000 tons of TNT. All fission reactions generate the remains of the split atomic nuclei. Many fission products are either radioactive or moderately radioactive, as such, they are a serious form of radioactive contamination. Fission products are the principal radioactive component of nuclear fallout. Another source of radioactivity is the burst of free neutrons produced by the weapon; when they collide with other nuclei in surrounding material, the neutrons transmute those nuclei into other isotopes, altering their stability and making them radioactive. The most used fissile materials for nuclear weapons applications have been uranium-235 and plutonium-239.
Less used has been uranium-233. Neptunium-237 and some isotopes of americium may be usable for nuclear explosives as well, but it is not clear that this has been implemented, their plausible use in nuclear weapons is a matter of dispute; the other basic type of nuclear weapon produces a large proportion of its energy in nuclear fusion reactions. Such fusion weapons are referred to as thermonuclear weapons or more colloquially as hydrogen bombs, as they rely on fusion reactions between isotopes of hydrogen. All such weapons derive a significant portion of their energy from fission reactions used to "trigger" fusion reactions, fusion reactions can themselves trigger additional fission reactions. Only six countries—United States, United Kingdom, China and India—have conducted thermonuclear weapon tests. North Korea claims to have tested a fusion weapon as of January 2016. Thermonuclear weapons a