The Cryotron Files

The Cryotron Files

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

Book - 2018
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Dr. Dudley Allen Buck was a brilliant young scientist and MIT professor who developed or invented several pieces of now-common technology, most notably the cryotron, an early form of the microchip. Thought to be able to guide a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles to their targets, the cryotron attracted attention from around the world. Like his Nobel-winning colleagues, Buck might have benefited from his inventions, had he not died from a mysterious, sudden bout of pneumonia at the age of thirty-two--just weeks after a high-profile group of Soviet scientists visited his lab on a tour of the US. Buck was not the only scientist to die that day; his colleague Dr. Ridenour, chief scientist at Lockheed, was also found dead from similar causes. Were their deaths linked? Buck's lab books, diaries, correspondence, research papers, patent filings, and other recently discovered papers reveal his extensive career in clandestine government work that took him around the globe and behind the Iron Curtain for agencies including the NSA, putting him in contact with the Soviet Union's top computer scientists. Did Buck's pioneering work with microchips and his work for intelligence agencies make him a target of the KGB? 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 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 races.0
Publisher: New York : The Overlook Press, 2018
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781468315776
Characteristics: 288 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Buck, Douglas


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Oct 05, 2018

I am quite curious to read this book given the background and date of the computer scientist's death - - it appears to correspond with the joint defection of the NSA's Martin and Mitchell, two cryptoanalysts at NSA who were also lovers and believed the Soviet Union would be more amenable to gays.
Their defection unhinged a plan to introduce an altered crypto device/technology to the Soviet Union, engineered to allow the NSA to eavesdrop on them when they put it into use. This posed a problem for Lee Oswald [a member of the CIA's False Defectors Program], as he was one of the pawns meant to introduce it by defecting to Russia and giving the coordinates of planned U-2 overflights of the Soviet Union; they would therefore shoot it down and recover the crypto machine from the wreckage but Martin and Mitchell's defection shot down that joint CIA/NSA plan instead!
I wonder if this fellow had been involved with that program, et cetera? ?


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