Who is the morally sensible inventor?

The inventor of the neutron bomb, Samuel Cohen, is dead. According to his son, the American physicist died ...

Los Angeles. The inventor of the neutron bomb, Samuel Cohen, is dead. According to his son, the American physicist died on Sunday in his home in California. The 89-year-old suffered from stomach cancer.

Just a few weeks ago, in an interview with the New York Times, he described the controversial bomb as the “most sensible and moral weapon that has ever been invented”. Cohen: “It's the only nuclear weapon in history that makes warfare sense. When the war is over, the world is still intact. "

Neutron weapons kill people and other living things by destroying the central nervous system, but cause minor material damage because they do not generate much heat and only a low pressure wave. While the effect of conventional nuclear weapons is based on the pressure and heat waves released during nuclear fission, neutron weapons emit most of their energy in the form of hard neutron radiation. The radioactive fallout from the weapon developed in 1958 is low: the affected area can be re-entered around 24 hours after the explosion.

During the Cold War, the use of neutron weapons in the event of a war in Europe was considered in order to counter the Soviet superiority in tanks. Then there would be no need to resort to nuclear weapons, which would devastate large parts of Europe and contaminate radioactively, argued the military. The bomb detonates a few hundred meters above the ground. Their lethal effect is then limited to an area around one kilometer in diameter. Opponents also called the bomb the "weapon of the capitalists" because it spares property.

US President Jimmy Carter decided in 1978 not to build the neutron weapon. But the Pentagon continued to work on it. President Ronald Reagan then ordered 700 warheads to be built in 1981. He called the bomb "the first weapon in a long time that can easily and economically shift the balance of power". The stock was later destroyed under President George Bush. It is believed, however, that modifications of the bomb found their way into the arsenals of France, Israel and the Soviet Union, writes the New York Times.

Cohen was born in New York on January 25, 1921, the son of Jewish immigrants from Austria. He studied physics and worked as part of the Manhattan Project on the construction of the “Fat Man” atomic bomb, which was dropped over the Japanese city of Nagasaki in August 1945. After the Second World War he worked at the renowned California research institute Rand Corporation. (dpa)