The Manhattan Project


Ruth Kerr Jakoby's Interview

Ruth Kerr Jakoby: My name is Dr. Ruth Kerr Jakoby. J-A-K-O-B-Y. I was born September 2, 1929. I am eighty-five years old. On September 2, I will be eighty-six.

Alex Wellerstein: My birthday is September 5, so we can both be Virgos together. Where were you born?

Jakoby: Palo Alto, California.

Wellerstein: You said you have a doctorate? What is your field in?

Jakoby: Neurosurgery. 

Wellerstein: Oh, wow!

Robert Lamphere's Interview - Part 2

Robert Lamphere: They said that he [Klaus Fuchs] annoyed some of the people because he wanted to keep certain [inaudible]. That’s a little point of irony. 

Richard Rhodes: Although, again, there was one guy who later thought, “Well, maybe he was pushing to find out what was the most valuable information.” Which I hadn’t thought of until I saw that comment.

Lamphere: I did not remember that at all. Don’t remember covering it in my interview.

Dorothy McKibbin's Interview (1979)

Martin Sherwin: This is an interview with Dorothy McKibbin in Santa Fe, July 20, 1979.

Dorothy McKibbin: Santa Fe?

Sherwin: It sure is, but it’s not going to be my last. I’m enjoying it thoroughly.

McKibbin: Great country.

Sherwin: It is. It’s just beautiful, and, of course, we’re having such fantastic weather now. If I could put this—

McKibbin: The most wonderful summer climate I have ever encountered, and I’ve been a lot of places.

Marshall Rosenbluth's Interview

Richard Rhodes: How did you get involved in the program?

Marshall Rosenbluth: Well, you can probably guess. I’ve already told you that I was a student of [Edward] Teller’s. I was in the Navy during the war and then went back to the University of Chicago where my parents were living, to graduate school, and became a student of Teller’s. I’m not quite sure exactly how. He was a professor in one of my courses.

Robert Lamphere's Interview - Part 1

Robert Lamphere: One of the British newspapers speculated about allowing the FBI into see this guy [Klaus Fuchs], because we might actually use the third degree against him – which we thought was funny as hell. But right off the bat, he wasn’t sure he wanted to tell me anything, because of what we filed against ‒ particularly his sister, Kristel Heineman, and her husband, and others. So he and I fenced a little bit back and forth before we ever showed him the pictures or anything else. As to whether he was going to talk at all‒

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.

Lew Kowarski's Interview - Part 2

Stephane Groueff: One thing I don’t understand, and it’s a very ignorant question, but what was actually the difference between [Enrico] Fermi’s experiment in ’34 and [Otto] Hahn’s? Because, why do we say that Hahn was the first one, while Fermi also bombarded uranium?

Lew Kowarski: I don’t it’s true to say that Hahn was the first one.

Groueff: It’s not true.

Kowarski: I think it’s one of those simplifications—there are people who find them all right. I don’t.

J. Carson Mark's Interview

Carson Mark: We shouldn’t have been making this damn bomb without trying to keep it secret from [Joseph] Stalin. We should’ve been talking to him like [Niels] Bohr said. [Klaus] Fuchs believed and took it into his own hands to make sure that the conversation went on. Of course, he didn’t need to because Stalin knew anyway. Not the technical details, but the general facts.

Louis Rosen's Interview

Rosen: Well, my name is Louis Rosen. I was born in New York City, not the best part of the city. I’m now almost eighty-five years old. My parents were immigrants from Poland.  They were escaping from the pogroms, which were taking place with the Russian Cossacks coming in and raiding villages, especially where Jews where plentiful. My father came over here in about 1909. My mother—they were girl and boyfriends in the old country—came over two years later.

Robert Serber's Interview

Robert Serber: Ernest [Lawrence] got overexcited about the Russian bomb. I imagine that [Edward] Teller called him and got him worked up. I warned him about Edward’s Super, that it wasn't a practical idea at the moment. I told him if he wanted to really find out he should talk to [Hans] Bethe, but he never did. He was all gung ho for the Super and he immediately went with more or less the action before he thought of what he could do, and the thing to do was to build these reactors to make tritium.


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