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Rockville Science Cafe: Science of Nuclear Deterrence

January 15 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Rockville Science Café

Note: New Venue!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
7 to 8 pm
Trapezaria Mediterranean Kuzina
11 North Washington St., Rockville, MD 20850

Rockville Science Café meets every third Tuesday of the month. It features a scientist engaging and leading a discussion that encourages conversation, debate, and interaction. The presentation is free and open to the public. You may purchase a drink, enjoy the $15 “all included” buffet (light fare, drinks, and tip), or purchase dinner from the full menu. There is free parking behind the restaurant.

The Science of Nuclear Deterrence

Jonathan Schwalbe is a program manager and mathematician at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. He has managed projects related to nuclear force structure, strategic stability, nuclear weapon effects, and rapid prototyping of flight hardware in support of strategic deterrence. Jonathan holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Northwestern University.

The U.S. nuclear deterrent is composed of a triad of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, sea-based submarine launched ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers carrying gravity bombs and cruise missiles. This triad of nuclear systems is the result of a decades long evolution of U.S. nuclear force structure, and each leg brings with it a unique and indispensable attribute on which the other two rely. The primary purpose of these weapons is to deter other nations from launching a strategic attack on the United States. In this talk, a brief history of the triad will be given, focusing on the unique characteristics each leg has, and how mathematics (game theory for example) can be used to understand deterrence theory and rigorously inform nuclear force structure composition, strategic arms control decisions, and other critical aspects of our nation’s deterrent force.


January 15
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Trapezaria Mediterranean Kuzina
11 North Washington St.
Rockville, MD 20850
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