University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Wednesday, November 5th 2014
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Ben Bederson, NYU & Susan Seestrom, Texas A&M
Subject: Hans Courant's 90th Birthday Symposium:Highlights of the Physics Challenges during the Manhattan Project
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics after colloquium

Ben Bederson will be speaking on “Recollections of a Los Alamos Soldier-Scientist.”

Susan Seestrom will discuss some of the key physics and materials challenges that had to be solved in the development of the atomic bomb. The approach to these challenges during the Manhattan Project was Edisonian in nature because of the intense time pressures involved, but was based on a foundation of basic research in physics during the first decades of the 19th century. I will discuss how that approach impacted the course of the Manhattan project and the subsequent development of the cold war nuclear arsenal, as well as the ability of the nuclear weapons laboratories to cope with the cessation of nuclear testing. Finally, I will talk about some of the tools that have been developed to meet the challenges of the present day national security mission of Los Alamos and the importance of basic research in nuclear science along the way.

Faculty Host: Marvin Marshak

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