The Manhattan Project

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

Philippe Halban

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Philippe Halban is a European biologist. His father, Hans Halban, was an Austrian-Jewish physicist who conducted nuclear research with Frédéric Joliot-Curie in France before World War II and later for the Manhattan Project in Britain and Canada. In this interview, Philippe provides an account of his father’s life, including Halban’s family, education, and love of science. He discusses his father’s relationships with fellow scientists, including Francis Perrin, Lew Kowarski, and Joliot-Curie. He also describes how his father and Kowarski fled France for England in June 1940 with France’s supply of heavy water to keep it out of the hands of the Nazis.