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

By Iain Dey  and Douglas Buck , with research by Alan Dewey
Read by William Hughes

9.08 Hours 10/09/2018 unabridged
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The riveting true story of Dudley Buck―American scientist, government agent, and Cold War hero―whose pioneering work with computer chips placed him firmly in the sights of the KGB. 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 thirty-two. 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 heart attack, 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 twenty 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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Summary

Summary

The riveting true story of Dudley Buck―American scientist, government agent, and Cold War hero―whose pioneering work with computer chips placed him firmly in the sights of the KGB.

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 thirty-two. 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 heart attack, 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 twenty 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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“In the fast-paced The Cryotron Files, Iain Dey not only restores the MIT scientist Dudley Buck to his rightful place in the pantheon of America’s computer pioneers but he also sheds new light on Buck’s shocking, untimely, and utterly mysterious death—at all of 32 years old.” William D. Cohan, New York Times bestselling author
“Fascinating…The authors more than make their case for the significance of [Buck’s] contributions to current technological breakthroughs.” Publishers Weekly
“An incredibly thorough but fully accessible deep dive into the Cold War battle for computer supremacy.” Jesse Eisenberg, award-winning actor

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Iain Dey

Iain Dey is the business editor for the Sunday Times and was previously the paper’s New York correspondent and deputy business editor. He was named the Times’ Business Journalist of the Year in 2010 for his coverage of the financial crisis.

Titles by Author

Author Bio: Douglas Buck

Over the past thirty-plus years, Douglas Buck has invested in commercial real estate ventures primarily in the states of Washington and Florida, where he resides. His interest in technology stems partially from what he learned about his father’s career growing up near Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as many years in the Seattle area.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 9.08
Audience: Adult
Language: English