The Manhattan Project

Scientific Discoveries

Jacob Beser's Lecture

Jacob Beser:  The story which we could tell. And one point that Dr. Wittman, though, which I wish you would please keep in mind—and this is true not only in this situation, but any historical event  should be evaluated in the context in which it took place, the context and the times in which it took place. Hopefully we proceed from there and progress. Forty years later, we all had 20/20 hindsight and we also have had access to archives and information that we did not have forty years ago.

Leon Love and George Banic's Interview

[Audio distortion occurs throughout the interview.]

Stephane Groueff: Recording interview with Mr. Leon Love at Oak Ridge July 15, 1963. Mr. Love works with Y-12.

Would you mind repeating sort of some of the characteristics of Y-12, some of the figures? For instance, how many buildings? How many magnets? How many Alpha [calutrons] and Beta [calutrons]? How many units in each?

Leon Love: There were five buildings containing the output separators, and there were nine tracks total in these five buildings.

Alexander Langsdorf's Interview

Stephane Groueff: Now it is recording Dr. Langsdorf. If you can tell me in a few words how you got connected with the project and where you came from.

Alexander Langsdorf: Oh, in the first place, as soon as I got my PhD at MIT, I went out to Berkeley as a national research fellow and started to work in Ernest Lawrence’s lab doing nuclear physics, which was a brand new field then, just opening up in 1938.

Groueff: ’38.

Peter Galison's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I'm Cindy Kelly. This is Wednesday, June 24th, 2015, and I'm in Cambridge Massachusetts with Peter Gailson. My first question for you is to tell me your name and spell it.

Peter Gailson: My name is Peter Gailson, G-A-L-I-S-O-N. I'm a professor here at Harvard, Physics, a history of science.

Bob Carter's Interview

Bird: Let us begin at the beginning and I think the viewers of this will want to know first about your own background. What year were you born?

Carter: I was born in 1920 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Bird: On what day?

Carter: February 3, 1920.

Bird: 1920.

Carter: Yes.

Bird: Okay, 1920, what was sort of before modern physics, quantum physics was invented as such.

Raemer Shreiber's Interview (1965)

Raemer Schreiber: I think the only point that is of any interest in this regard to pick up is perhaps the fact that the group of us who came here to work on the so-called water boil reactor had been working together at Purdue University on the very first measurements of the so-called deuterium tritium cross sections, which has to do with the fusion reaction. This eventually was used in bombs, but not for many years, and it is, of course, the basis for present attempts to create energy by controlled thermonuclear reactions or fusion reactions.

John W. Healy's Interview

John Healy: Hello.

S. L. Sanger: Hello this is Mr. Sanger from Seattle, is this a good time to talk about Hanford, or no.

Healy: Another one you may want to talk to is Carl Garmertsfelder in Knoxville.

Sanger: In Knoxville, now what was his position? Oregonian said he was a radiation control manager.

Healy: It has been so long. I do not really remember. I worked for Carl for a while, and he reported to Herb Parker.

Richard Baker's Interview

Richard Baker: The first plutonium that, other than the cyclotron that produced plutonium, was made at what was called the Clinton Piles at old X10 down in Oak Ridge. The Chicago Met Lab worked on the micro scale reduction of the metal. This produced rather small quantities but never enough quantities to study its properties in any accurate manner.

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