The Manhattan Project

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

Chicago Met Lab

Louis Turner

Louis Turner, a metallurgical engineer, first became involved with the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago in 1943. Turner worked at the “Dairy,” a codename for the place at the University where scientists researched methods to effectively can fuel elements for the nuclear reaction. After a brief stint at Oak Ridge working around the X-10 Graphite Reactor as a health-instrument scientist, Turner was transferred to Hanford where he spent much of his career conducting site surveys to monitor radiation levels in the surrounding area.

John Manley's Interview (1965) - Part 1

Stephane Groueff: Yes, Dr. Manley, from the beginning. Then I’ll start asking questions.

John Manley: Alright, fine. I guess the first relevant business is the fact that I went to Columbia in ‘34. I was sort of on the fringe. I worked mostly with [Isidor] Rabi for the first couple of years.

Groueff: You are a chemist?

Manley: No, I’m a physicist.

Groueff: Physicist?

Daniel Friel's Interview

Stephane Groueff: So Mr. Friel, you were with the optical side in Chicago project?

Dan Friel: Yes. My interest and activity was in the optical end. The job was to make it possible to see through walls and to see into equipment where otherwise the radioactive level was too high to operator or to work. We knew, of course, that we had to be able to see behind these walls, and we knew in many cases that we would not know what we would be looking at, because there were new and strange phenomena going on. This indeed turned out to be the case.

Daniel Friel

Daniel D. Friel was a chemical engineer for the DuPont Company who joined the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago in 1943.

Friel was assigned to design the optics for remote operations in Hanford's T-Plant, a state-of-the-art chemical separations facility. Under Charles M. Cooper and George Monk, Friel invented equipment based on preexisting military technology to see behind walls at the separation plant and the B Reactor.

20th Anniversary of the Atomic Age

Interviewer: December 2, 1962 marks the twentieth anniversary of the first nuclear chain reaction achieved at the University of Chicago. That day a group of scientists, led by the late Dr. Enrico Fermi, operated man’s first atomic reactor. The occasion ushered in the atomic age. Present at that historic moment was Dr. Norman Hilberry former director of Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. This is how he explains his part in that day.

John Wheeler's Interview (1965)

Stephane Groueff: So I think the best thing is just talk. So if you want to start from the beginning and tell me a little bit about yourself, Dr. Wheeler, and where you come from and a few words about your career, and how you happen to get involved with the atomic project.

John Wheeler: Well I would say that my most important decision I ever took was to go to work with Niels Bohr. I remember writing the fellowship application when I was twenty-one years old to go to work with him because—


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