Tag Archives: Manhattan Project

Meet the Woman Who Supervised the Computations That Proved an Atomic Bomb Would Work

Naomi Livesay worked on computations that formed the mathematical basis for implosion simulations. Despite her crucial role on the project, she is rarely mentioned as more than a footnote—until now

By Katie Hafner, The Lost Women of Science Initiative on August 3, 2023

Credit: Paula Mangin

Listen to the podcast: https://beta.prx.org/stories/484826

Nic Lewis: She was walking past where Oppenheimer was living. And he had walked outta his house just a little before her and he paused and waited for her to catch up. he asked all about how she was doing, what was happening in the punch card operation, what kind of results they were getting. Did she need anything?

She was astounded.

Katie Hafner: During World War II, thousands of scientists took part in the three year race led by J. Robert Oppenheimer to build an atomic bomb that would end the war. Hundreds of those scientists were women. They were physicists, chemists, biologists, mathematicians … and computation experts, whose calculations helped determine if the theoretical ideas behind the bomb would work.

This is Lost Women of the Manhattan Project, a special series of Lost Women of Science focusing on a few of those women.

Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/meet-the-woman-who-supervised-the-computations-that-proved-an-atomic-bomb-would-work/

Explained: What is Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer Based on? | Movieweb

Here’s a deep dive into the complexities of the father of the atomic bomb, Nolan’s subject in his upcoming film Oppenheimer.

By Andrew Sidhom, Published 3 days ago, March 4, 2022

From article…

Christopher Nolan will finally make his biopic. The famous director had a stunted attempt to mount one two decades ago when he penned a screenplay about aviator Howard Hughes, which he later described as the best screenplay he’s ever written. The project died when Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator went into production first. Now, Nolan is working on a film about the father of the atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer.

However, Oppenheimer may very well break conventional biopic expectations. Nolan took his script to Universal after a rift with longtime collaborators Warner Bros. regarding the studio’s new policies of distribution via streaming, and Universal is describing the film as an epic thriller about an enigmatic man.

Cast in the lead role, Cillian Murphy has stated that “the story is there, everybody knows what happened, but Chris is telling it in a different way, as with Chris you would expect. That’s all I can say.”

The picture has amassed a formidable cast and crew. The script is by Nolan, adapted from the Pultizer-winning book American Prometheus. Ludwig Goransson will write the music, Hoyte Van Hoytema will work as the film’s cinematographer, Emily Blunt will play Oppenheimer’s wife, Matt Damon will be the director of the Manhattan Project, which was responsible for the bomb’s development, and Robert Downey Jr. will be the chairman of a commission that questioned Oppenheimer’s loyalty to the United States.

In further casting news, Florence Pugh was announced as a Communist Party member who had an affair with Oppenheimer that alarmed U.S. officials, Benny Safdie was cast as Edward Teller who worked with Oppenheimer and was later the father of the hydrogen bomb, Rami Malek joined in an unknown scientist role, and Kenneth Branagh and Dane DeHaan were recently added to the star-studded list.

Source: Explained: What is Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer Based on?

Atomic Architecture: The Secret Cities of World War Two – CityLab

The Manhattan Project, the program that developed the first nuclear weapons during World War II, worked out of three purpose-built cities in Tennessee, New Mexico, and Washington state. A new exhibition considers their design and legacy.

Source: Atomic Architecture: The Secret Cities of World War Two – CityLab

The Librarian Who Guarded the Manhattan Project’s Secrets – Atlas Obscura

Inner view of the Manhattan Project’s scientific library Courtesy Los Alamos Historical Society Photo Archives

Women working at the Manhattan Project Oak Ridge site US Department of Energy/Public Domain

While dodging accusations of communism, Charlotte Serber made the nuclear bomb possible.

Source: The Librarian Who Guarded the Manhattan Project’s Secrets – Atlas Obscura