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The Cryotron Files: The Untold Story of Dudley Buck, Cold War Computer Scientist and Microchip Pioneer

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Dr. Dudley Allen Buck was a brilliant young scientist on the cusp of fame and fortune when he died suddenly on May 21, 1959, at the age of 32. He was the star professor at MIT and had done stints with the NSA and Lockheed. His latest invention, the Cryotron—an early form of the microchip—was attracting attention all over the globe. It was thought that the Cryotron could gu Dr. Dudley Allen Buck was a brilliant young scientist on the cusp of fame and fortune when he died suddenly on May 21, 1959, at the age of 32. He was the star professor at MIT and had done stints with the NSA and Lockheed. His latest invention, the Cryotron—an early form of the microchip—was attracting attention all over the globe. It was thought that the Cryotron could guide a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles to their targets. Four weeks before Dudley Buck’s death, he was visited by a group of the Soviet Union’s top computer experts. On the same day that he died from a mysterious sudden bout of pneumonia, his close colleague, Dr. Louis Ridenour, was also found dead from similar causes. Two top American computer scientists had unexpectedly died young on the same day. Were their deaths linked? Two years old when his father died, Douglas Buck was never satisfied with the explanation of his father’s death and has spent more than 20 years investigating it, acquiring his father’s lab books, diaries, correspondence, research papers and patent filings. Armed with this research, award-winning journalist Iain Dey tells, with compelling immediacy, the story of Dudley Buck’s life and groundbreaking work, starting from his unconventional beginnings in California through to his untimely death and beyond. The Cryotron Files is at once the gripping narrative history of America and its computer scientists during the Cold War and the dramatic personal story of rising MIT star Dudley Buck in the high-stakes days of spies, supercomputers, and the space and nuclear race.


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Dr. Dudley Allen Buck was a brilliant young scientist on the cusp of fame and fortune when he died suddenly on May 21, 1959, at the age of 32. He was the star professor at MIT and had done stints with the NSA and Lockheed. His latest invention, the Cryotron—an early form of the microchip—was attracting attention all over the globe. It was thought that the Cryotron could gu Dr. Dudley Allen Buck was a brilliant young scientist on the cusp of fame and fortune when he died suddenly on May 21, 1959, at the age of 32. He was the star professor at MIT and had done stints with the NSA and Lockheed. His latest invention, the Cryotron—an early form of the microchip—was attracting attention all over the globe. It was thought that the Cryotron could guide a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles to their targets. Four weeks before Dudley Buck’s death, he was visited by a group of the Soviet Union’s top computer experts. On the same day that he died from a mysterious sudden bout of pneumonia, his close colleague, Dr. Louis Ridenour, was also found dead from similar causes. Two top American computer scientists had unexpectedly died young on the same day. Were their deaths linked? Two years old when his father died, Douglas Buck was never satisfied with the explanation of his father’s death and has spent more than 20 years investigating it, acquiring his father’s lab books, diaries, correspondence, research papers and patent filings. Armed with this research, award-winning journalist Iain Dey tells, with compelling immediacy, the story of Dudley Buck’s life and groundbreaking work, starting from his unconventional beginnings in California through to his untimely death and beyond. The Cryotron Files is at once the gripping narrative history of America and its computer scientists during the Cold War and the dramatic personal story of rising MIT star Dudley Buck in the high-stakes days of spies, supercomputers, and the space and nuclear race.

41 review for The Cryotron Files: The Untold Story of Dudley Buck, Cold War Computer Scientist and Microchip Pioneer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Larry

    I intended to give this 4 stars. Unable to edit. Good read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rija

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sam Satalof

  4. 4 out of 5

    William Steagall Jr

  5. 4 out of 5

    Morgan LaRue

  6. 4 out of 5

    John Abbey

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    Martin Kusk

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jacques Dolan

  9. 4 out of 5

    Avinash Priya

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Little

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nigel Warman

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dianne Walker

  13. 4 out of 5

    Richard O'Neal

  14. 4 out of 5

    Craig

  15. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

  16. 4 out of 5

    Philippe

  17. 4 out of 5

    Saurabh P

  18. 4 out of 5

    babbitty

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lee

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maren Sederquist

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gabriele

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pete Quinones

  24. 4 out of 5

    Benedict X

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ricardo

  26. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Sosa

  27. 4 out of 5

    João

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fabio Sarmento

  29. 4 out of 5

    Priyavasanthan Pandiyan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kate Lyon

  31. 4 out of 5

    Martti

  32. 4 out of 5

    John Ferringer

  33. 4 out of 5

    Darrand Williams

  34. 5 out of 5

    João Vitor

  35. 5 out of 5

    Marina Bodrina

  36. 5 out of 5

    Phil

  37. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  38. 4 out of 5

    Mc

  39. 5 out of 5

    Griselle

  40. 5 out of 5

    MarioCbGin

  41. 5 out of 5

    Diogo Alves

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