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.
Joseph Katz: Now it was recognized that plutonium would have a chemistry that would be quite similar to that of uranium. And developing procedures for the separation of plutonium from irradiated uranium. The assumption that was most commonly made was that the chemistry of plutonium would be similar, if not identical to that of uranium and this, of course was an entirely reasonable assumption to make.
Stephane Groueff: You remember this visit now?
Norman Hilberry: Oh, boy.
Groueff: Could you tell me about that part?
Stephane Groueff: Now you said that you had some opening remarks?
Stephane Groueff: You personally you were in what department or building? You were directly working with Doctor [Arthur H.] Compton?
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.
Alfred Nier: By the summer of 1943, the question came up, what I should do next? And I had a chance to – [J. Robert] Oppenheimer had gotten a hold of me and suggested I might come out to Los Alamos.
Stephane Groueff: And you knew him?
Stephane Groueff: Now, we could start with a letter of [Enrico] Fermi and a letter of [John] Dunning, because the way Dunning explained the thing that he had the idea that uranium-235 was—
Alfred Nier: The one that was responsible, yes.
Kowarski: So born in Leningrad, February, 1907. Father, businessman. Mother had a little career of her own as a singer, but [inaudible]. Father, his business started to be paper, pulp and paper, and then from that he branched off to supplying paper to newspapers and magazines, and from there he branched off into participation in magazines. And so his business gradually grew less and less pulp and more and more literary, if you see what I mean.
Stephane Groueff: Hello, Dr. Wigner?
Eugene Wigner: Yes.
Groueff: Good morning sir. I am calling from New York. I am the correspondent of “Paris Match” magazine. My name is Groueff.
Groueff: Groueff, G-R-O-U-E-F-F.
Wigner: I see, Mr. Groueff.