The Manhattan Project

In partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & HistoryNational Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Cambridge, MA

David Fox's Interview

Reed Srere: Hi, I am Reed Srere – R-e-e-d S-r-e-r-e. I am recording this oral history for the Atomic Heritage Foundation on June 3 [2015] in Washington, DC. Please state your name.

David Fox: I am David Fox. I live in Providence, Rhode Island. My father was a physicist on the Manhattan Project in Manhattan. That is why I am here.

Srere: Please tell us your place and date of birth.

Fox: Mine?

Srere: Yes.

David Fox

David Fox’s father, Dr. Marvin Fox, studied physics at Columbia University under Isidor Rabi and Harold Urey. Marvin Fox worked at the Radiation Laboratory at MIT and at Columbia during the Manhattan Project. After the war, he served as Chairman of the Reactor Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he helped build the first reactor dedicated to peaceful uses of atomic energy. In this interview, David Fox describes his father’s work at Brookhaven, idealism about technology, and how the onset of the Cold War affected him.

Peter Galison

Peter Galison is the Joseph Pellegrino University Professor in History of Science and Physics at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in both Physics and the History of Science in 1983. The central component of Galison's work involves the exploration of twentieth century physics, including atomic, nuclear, and particle physics. In particular, he examines physics as a closely interconnected set of scientific subcultures: experimenters, instrument makers, and theorists.

David Kaiser's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and it's Monday, September 8, 2014. I’m at the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, with David Kaiser. The first thing I’d like him to do is tell us his name and spell it.

David Kaiser: My name is David Kaiser. The last name is K-A-I-S-E-R.

David Kaiser

David Kaiser is the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is author of the award winning book Drawing Theories Apart: The Dispersion of Feynman Diagrams in Postwar Physics, and more recently published How Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival.

James B. Conant

Dr. James B. Conant, a chemist and a President of Harvard, served on various committees overseeing the Manhattan Project. He discusses the S-1 Committee’s recommendation to President Roosevelt to pursue all possible methods of enriching uranium. He recalls the importance of the fight for the AAA priority rating for materials and manpower for the Manhattan Project.

William Lanouette's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly from the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Friday, April 11, 2014, and I have with me William Lanouette who is going to be talking about Leo Szilard. Why don’t you start by actually saying your full name and spelling it? 

Bill Lanouette: I’m William Lanouette, L-A-N-O-U-E-T-T-E. 

Kelly: Tell us about Szilard. Who was he? What’s his background? 

William Lanouette

William Lanouette is the author of "Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard, the Man Behind the Bomb." Lanouette highlights Szilard’s contributions to the Manhattan Project, including his theoretical discovery of chain reaction and critical mass, along with his efforts to curb the use of nuclear weapons. He provides an overview of Szilard’s life and his scientific contributions in many fields. Lanouette explains that Szilard’s legacy is not well known due to the vast scope of his work and because his brilliance put him too far ahead of his time.

Fay Cunningham's Interview

 

Cindy Kelly: Okay, my name is Cindy Kelly and I am in south Denver, Colorado. It's June 25th, 2013. And I'm with Fay Cunningham. But the first thing I'm going to do is ask him to tell us his name and spell it.

Cunningham: Fay Cunningham, F-A-Y, C-U-N-N-I-N-G-H-A-M; it's a good old Scottish name.

Kelly: Hey, the Scots are great. Anyway, tell us something about your background.

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