Harris Mayer, born in 1921, is an American physicist. He worked at Columbia University, and later the University of Chicago, contributing to the Manhattan Project.
Mayer collaborated with fellow scientists, Edward Teller and John von Neumann, to contribute to the development of the thermonuclear bomb. He studied as a student under both Edward Teller and Maria Goeppert-Mayer.
After the War, Mayer began to work in the Los Alamos Laboratory. He then went on to study how space tethers could be used for propulsion in space. He was hired as a consultant for Project Orion, a 1950s nuclear propulsion project.
Mayer has written extensively about his experiences working at the Los Alamos Lab, and about his friendships and encounters with fellow scientists. His writings emphasize the sense of camaraderie the scientists felt while working on the Manhattan Project. His publications include: “Methods of Opacity Calculations,” “An Inconclusive Meeting of the Theoretical Megaton Group,” “People of the Hill, The Early Days,” and “Early Days of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.”