Talk:Smyth Report

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2005 discussion[edit]

I thought the report also asserted USSR could not make a bomb for another 20 year (e.i. Before mid 1960) Minor detail, but important because of how erroneous it turned out to be.

I'm pretty sure you're thinking of a different report -- the Smyth Report didn't say anything about the USSR, I'm fairly sure, and it would have been against the tone (and purpose) of the report to comment on world affairs in general. I tried some Google searches limited to the online version (looking for USSR, U.S.S.R., Soviet, etc.) and didn't come up with anything. --Fastfission 11:36, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Is the report a public domain text? Cxn I put the text to WikiSource? --ajvol 12:01, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

In the first page of the Princeton University Press version of the report (the first version published as a "book" rather than a literal "report"), it says: "Copyright 1945, by H. D. Smyth. Reproduction in whole or in part authorized and permitted." This would seem to imply that it is copyrighted but the copyright holder allows people to use it for any purpose, the equivalent of {{CopyrightedFreeUse}} for images. --Fastfission 13:05, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

It is a declassified U.S. Govt. publication, that would make it public domain. nobs 17:58, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Well, maybe. I think we should just go with the copyright it has listed (which is free enough for anything we would do with it -- it puts no restrictions on its use) rather than assume its copyright status is otherwise. I don't know what Smyth's official status was bureaucratically, which would affect the copyright status (whether he was hired as a contractor or not would change his ability to claim copyright). There's also the question of whether or not Princeton U. Press just wrote that on there because they were confused about it. I'm not sure. I think the answer is definitely "yes, you can put it on Wikisource", regardless.--Fastfission 13:59, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
Interesting this article says it was released 11 August 1945; I have source information Priscilla Hiss, wife of Alger Hiss, wrote she was reading the Smyth Report about 12 June 1945 (5 days before Trinity) and "trying to understand its meaning". Congressional Hearings open to the public on atomic power were likewise being held in June 1945. nobs 17:31, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
I think your source is probably mistaken, then. There wasn't a public peep about real atomic energy until the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in early August 1945. And the Smyth Report wasn't finished being written before the Trinity test. So lord knows what she was referring to, if it is real at all. According to Lexis Nexis, the first hearings related to atomic energy don't start until October 1945. --Fastfission 18:59, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
A slight clarification: I checked on the dates with an authoratative source on the Smyth Report (not yet published). Smyth was finishing the final draft during July of 1945, and didn't have it completed until after the Trinity test (he actually missed the Trinity test because he was too busy working on it). --Fastfission 19:13, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
I'll have to reexamine the source, (it's from memory). But I do recall her writting to someone somewhere around 12 June 1945 stating she was attending public hearings on atomic programs and reading the Smythe Report; she may have obtained a copy before its public release in August (if the Aug date is correct). This may not be unusual, since her husband worked in the State Department. But it is interesting because (1) she's not govt employee at that time yet recieved a document the rest of the public had no access to, and (2) whoever she was writing too also knew about the (assuming yet unreleased) Smyth Report, because in context she speaks about it as if it's a public document. This may demonstrate again, then, as now, people residing in the D.C. area have an entirely different view than the rest of us peons outside D.C. nobs 19:25, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
P.S. This is an interesting point, becuase I do wish to write a Prisicillla Fanslor Hobson Hiss article sooner or later. nobs 19:25, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, my bet is that you have your dates mixed up. I'm not sure there were "advance copies" -- the security was very tight on it, the original reports (before they were published by Princeton U. Press) were literally kept in a safe before distributed! The only copies circulated in advance, to my knowledge, were to people directly connected to the Project, and it was a pretty small group. The August date is definitely correct as to the public release. --Fastfission 23:53, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm trying to locate the source now (I've been mentally taking notes for the Priscilla Hiss bio for sometime); I recall the dates because it was while Alger Hiss was in San Fransisco at the UN Charter meeting, she wrote she was attending Congressional hearings & reading the Smyth Report. nobs 01:41, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Release date[edit]

The article previously listed the release date as August 11 (info added by User:Patrick, but the preface to the second (September 1945) and third (1948) editions states that the original release date was August 12. Was it in fact released August 12, or was this just internet misinformation that snuck in?--ragesoss 03:20, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Hmm, yeah, I think it's definitely August 12, three days after Nagasaki. I don't know how it got changed (and why I didn't notice that at the time). --Fastfission 22:04, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think there was a date in the article before Patrick added it.--ragesoss 02:11, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Ah, that probably explains it. --Fastfission 05:08, 24 March 2006 (UTC)


The Smyth Report seems to have played a role in greatly popularizing the equation E=mc² (and gave some people an idea that Einstein was heavily involved in the work which led up to the A-bomb, though he wasn't). AnonMoos (talk) 14:25, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Smyth Report/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Diannaa (talk · contribs) 13:44, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Hi Hawkeye. I have completed the GA review of this article, and just need you to clear up a couple of muddy areas in the prose:

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose: clear and concise, correct spelling and grammar:
    • I'm not understanding the connection between Dodds' commmitment to teaching military personnel and Smyth's decision to commute between Chicago and Princeton. Or is it Smyth who has the commitment to teach? Can you re-word this please, or explain it here and I will have a go?
      Re-worded to: Harold W. Dodds, began insisting that Smyth work part-time at Princeton, where there was a shortage of physicists because so many of them were engaged in war work. Dodds had commitments to teach Army and Navy personnel, and he needed physicists like Smyth to meet them.
    • Serial commas: yes or no? I went with yes.
    • The hallway door was locked and blocked by a large safe. The windows of Smyth's office and the one adjacent to it were barred, so that the only access was through that office, where there was an armed guard: through which office did people enter? It's not clear.
      Changed to: The windows of Smyth's office and the one adjacent to it were barred. The hallway door to his office was locked and blocked by a large safe so that the only access was through the adjacent office, where there was an armed guard.
    • Smyth then turned back to Princeton University Press, with one condition: that he receive no royalties. It's not clear who is laying down the condition, Princeton Press or Smyth.
      Re-worded to: Smyth then turned back to Princeton University Press. He had but one condition: that he receive no royalties. Princeton University Press agreed, but added a stipulation of its own: that Groves's approval be secured.
    B. Complies with MoS for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation:
    A. Provides references to all sources:
    All material has citations nicely formatted using sfn templates
    B. Provides in-line citations from reliable sources where necessary:
    All material is sourced to reliable sources; spot checks reveal no copyright violations or too-close paraphrasing
    C. No original research:
  2. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Main aspects are addressed:
    The article covers all the points required for books: Background, summary, style, analysis, publication history, and reception.
    B. Remains focused:
  3. Does it follow the neutral point of view policy?
    Fair representation without bias:
  4. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  5. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
    * Ample correctly licensed images.
  6. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:

The article will be placed on hold for one week for editing. Thanks for the fab improvements to this interesting article. -- Diannaa (talk) 14:58, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

-- All points addressed. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:02, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Good amendments, passing to GA class. -- Diannaa (talk) 22:12, 28 July 2013 (UTC)


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