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AHF Launches Los Alamos Innovations Project

AHF Launches Los Alamos Innovations Project

The SUPO, the most powerful version of the Water Boiler Reactor, at Los Alamos, in the 1950s. Image courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Atomic Heritage Foundation is pleased to announce that we have received a grant from the IEEE Foundation to support a Ranger in Your Pocket program on "Los Alamos Innovations." The program will focus on seven seminal technologies associated with the Manhattan Project.

One example is the developments in computer science led by Nicholas Metropolis, John von Neumann, Richard Feynman and others. These developments were the foundation for the postwar revolution in computer science, scientific research and the computer industry.

The "Ranger" will also highlight innovations required to harness atomic energy for the atomic bombs and nuclear reactors, such as the pioneering Water Boiler Reactor (left). Other developments involved electronics, radiation detection and measurement, health physics and high-speed photography.

The program will incorporate first-hand accounts by scientists and engineers explaining the challenges they faced and how they approached them. Drawing from interviews with leading historians of science and other experts, the vignettes will provide multiple perspectives on the impacts of these innovations over the course of the last seven decades.

AHF will be working closely with the IEEE Los Alamos/Northern New Mexico Section and other partners on the project. AHF's Cindy Kelly and Alex Levy will be visiting New Mexico to kickstart the project and record interviews with veterans and experts. We are grateful to the IEEE Foundation for its generous support.