The Manhattan Project

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

Harry Truman

Richard Rhodes' Interview (2018)

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Tuesday, November 27, 2018, and I have with me Richard Rhodes. My first question for him is to please say his name and spell it.

Richard Rhodes: Richard Rhodes, R-h-o-d-e-s.

Kelly:  Okay. Richard wants to share some of his expertise on the history of the Manhattan Project and its legacy—which is wonderful. Why don’t we start with Robert Oppenheimer and talk about what was going on with this very enigmatic character—who is often a central figure.

James Hershberg's Interview

Cindy Kelly: Hi. I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is November 15, 2017, and I have with me Professor James Hershberg. My first question for him is to tell us your full name and to spell it.

James Hershberg: Okay. James, G for Gordon, Hershberg, H-E-R-S-H-B-E-R-G. So no C, no I, and no U.

Al Zelver's Interview

Patricia Simpson: I am Patricia Anne Simpson and I am recording this oral history for the Atomic Heritage Foundation on May 3, 2017, in Studio B of the Visual Communications Building at Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana. Please say your name and spell it.

Al Zelver:  My name is Al Zelver. It’s spelled Z, as in zebra, E-L-V, Victoria, E-R.

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

Zelver: My date was July 2, 1920, and I was born in Stockton, California.

Robert Bacher's Interview - Part 2

Robert Bacher: I presented this [the discovery of the neutron] in the seminar and there were a good many questions. Some people were skeptical. I convinced Ed Condon almost immediately. In fact, within the week we had written a note together on the spin of the neutron because you could work it out. This part of it fit into the things of nuclear spins, hyperfine structure, nuclear moments, and so on. A good many other people came around to it. I think more than half the people were convinced at that time.

Charles Critchfield

Charles Critchfield was a mathematical physicist assigned to work on the development of gun-type fission weapons, and eventually implosion-type weapons, at Los Alamos. He returned to Los Alamos in 1952 to work on the development of the hydrogen bomb.

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.

Louis Rosen

Louis Rosen, a native New Yorker and the son of Polish immigrants, was personally selected to work on the Manhattan project in Los Alamos while a graduate student in physics. Once in Los Alamos, Rosen was assigned to Edwin McMillan’s group, where he worked on implosion technology. Rosen remained in Los Alamos after the war ended and was considered the father of the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility. 

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