Robert Rosner and Paul Wilson on OppenheimerBefore Oppenheimer’s bomb, there were nuclear fission tests conducted under the University of Chicago football stadium
The world, and the US in particular, have a complicated history with nuclear fission. Splitting atoms led to both the development of nuclear energy and weapons with catastrophic power. In the film Oppenheimer, director Christopher Nolan explores these issues.
Here we expand this examination to the seminal work done in the Midwest. In this episode of Carry the Two, we speak with nuclear engineer from the University of Wisconsin, Paul Wilson, and University of Chicago physicist, Robert Rosner. They unveil how the University of Chicago was a key research site that tested theories of Oppenheimer and his colleagues, allowing the United States to win the race in building a nuclear weapon.
Find our transcript here: LINK
Curious to learn more? Check out these additional links:
The first nuclear reactor, explained: https://news.uchicago.edu/explainer/first-nuclear-reactor-explained
American Prometheus (novel that Oppenheimer is based on): https://www.pulitzer.org/winners/kai-bird-and-martin-j-sherwin
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/current-time/
Nuclear energy and cutting carbon emissions: https://www.wpr.org/nuclear-key-key-cutting-carbon-emissions-combat-climate-change
Rosner elected president of American Physical Society: https://chicagomaroon.com/28020/news/theoretical-physicist-robert-rosner-elected-presid/
Follow Robert Rosner: https://astro.uchicago.edu/people/robert-rosner.php
Follow Paul Wilson: https://directory.engr.wisc.edu/neep/faculty/wilson_paul
The Science and Entertainment Exchange: scienceandentertainmentexchange.org
This episode was audio engineered by Tyler Damme.
Music by Blue Dot Sessions.
The Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation (IMSI) is funded by NSF grant DMS-1929348.