Nancy Greenewalt Frederick: My father, Crawford Greenewalt, was the only child of Dr. Frank Lindsay Greenewalt and Mary Hallock Greenewalt. Dr. Greenewalt was a physician at Gerard College in Philadelphia, and my father grew up there most of his young life. He went to a German school, what we would call a preschool, run by German monks when he was a child. He says he spoke German before he spoke English. But when he was grown up he could do some German, but he couldn’t speak it.
Stephane Groueff: Interview with Dr. Clarence Larson—L-A-R-S-O-N—head of the Union Carbide’s operations at Oak Ridge, a chemist. Dr. Larson was connected with the electromagnetic separation process during the war, and he was a personal friend of Dr. Lawrence [Ernest O. Lawrence]. He’s married to the daughter of Dr. Stafford Warren, who was also with the project. You came in 1942?
Dr. Clarence Larson: Yes.
Groueff: From where?
Stephane Groueff: Mr. Hobbs, part three.
J.C. Hobbs: The discussion in connection with piping and all of these fancy bends. Badger Company in Boston, I think, had the contract for the copper expansion joints.
Groueff: Between pipes?
Hans Bethe: The other was M - A - D, MAD [Mutually Assured Destruction], which essentially says that nuclear weapons make sense only as a safeguard against nuclear weapons. As [Wolfgang] Panofsky has said recently, and there is actually an article by him, "It is not a doctrine. It is a fact of life. Nothing else is possible, whatever you might wish.” So I think you should not present it as something really unavoidable, without any movements in the opposite direction.
Harry Allen: Mr. Wilson and company set us up a purchase request for a barber chair, because they couldn’t get off work in time to get their hair done.
Robert Van Gemert: There was only one man cutting hair, I think, up there.
Allen: The barber service was extremely limited, and we just happen to know where there was an old barber chair down in the old engineers’ warehouse. So we sent the truck driver down, and we delivered one barber chair down to the cyclotron building.
Martin Sherwin: This morning I am making arrangements to interview Norris Bradbury in Los Alamos, New Mexico. January 10, 1985.
How would you characterize the major problems that Oppenheimer had when he first got the job as the administrator for Los Alamos? Or at least, when you came on?
General Kenneth Nichols: —found we did not have the authority to satisfy DuPont.
Stephane Groueff: But why did DuPont challenge your authority?
Nichols: Because they had trouble, in World War I, being called munitions makers and investigated after World War I, so they are more conservative than most companies. And they wanted to have in their files copies of our authorities. And what we had, which I have shown you, and that is satisfactory to them.
Groueff: I see.
Tom Ryan: In the early morning of August 6, 1945, three B-29 bombers departed from Tinian Island in the Pacific Ocean. Six hours later, they changed the course of history. A single atomic bomb dropped from the Enola Gay exploded over Hiroshima, Japan. In an instant, over four square miles of the city and an estimated 90,000 of its inhabitants ceased to exist.
Cindy Kelly: My name is Cindy Kelly with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is January 8, 2016, and I am in New York City with Peter Lax. My first question for him is to say his name and spell it.
Peter Lax: Peter Lax, spelled L-A-X.
Kelly: Great, thank you. So I would love to have you talk, just a little bit anyway, about your childhood and your parents.
The Purdue University Physics Department operated a cyclotron during the early part of the war, conducting important nuclear research. Many of the scientists working on the project were transferred to Los Alamos to continue work on the Manhattan Project.
For more information, see A History of Physics at Purdue: The War Period (1941-1945).