May 28, 2016
By Gino Segrè and Bettina Hoerlin President Obama's visit to Hiroshima Friday will rekindle debate about the dropping of the first atomic bomb. More than a few people will wonder how the decision was reached. "No acceptable alternative" was the pronouncement of four eminent physicists in 1945 that made its way to the desk of Harry Truman. This scientific panel was composed of Enrico Fermi, Arthur Compton, Ernest Lawrence - all Nobel Prize winners - and, of course, J. Robert Oppenheimer.
March 20, 2016 |
When former Princeton professor and Salem City native son Forman Sinnickson Acton died two years ago at age 93, he was lauded as a technology pioneer, a gifted educator who could explain what others could barely comprehend. A private man of almost rakish charm, Acton was a world traveler, a circumspect bon vivant , a scholar whose love of learning went undimmed by the years. In the life of the mind, he ranged wide and far. Acton was a contemporary of John Nash, along with some of math and engineering's other beautiful minds.
August 7, 2015 |
The security restrictions being placed on Philadelphia for the papal visit invite comparison to the fenced-in "closed cities" of World War II. Or Manhattan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Or American cities patrolled by National Guard troops during riots in the 1960s. Rarely has a peacetime event drawn such Draconian security measures across such a broad section of a U.S. city. Overkill is the word being used by some law enforcement and transportation officials for the sweeping shutdown of highways and bridges, and the creation of a Beirut-style "green zone" where most vehicle traffic will be forbidden.
October 16, 2014 |
Ralph Tekel, 94, of Center City, a retired La Salle University chemistry professor who as a graduate student contributed to the Manhattan Project - albeit without his knowledge - died Wednesday, Oct. 8, of pneumonia at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. According to his daughter Billie Elias, in 1944 Dr. Tekel was part of a research team led by Dr. Henry Hass at Purdue University called Project 220. The team was asked to prepare Freon-like materials called fluorocarbons, Elias said.
November 22, 2013 |
Robert R. Jones Sr., 93, formerly of Warminster, a statistician who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II, died of Alzheimer's disease Saturday, Nov. 16, at Southampton Estates. Mr. Jones was among the specialists and scientists who worked in secret to build the atomic bomb during World War II, he told the Hatboro Public Spirit in a 2004 interview. Equipped with a bachelor's degree from Columbia University in statistics but unfit for military service due to a punctured eardrum, he initially went to work for the DuPont Co. in Connecticut.
October 9, 2012
Robert F. Christy, 96, a former California Institute of Technology professor who helped design the trigger mechanism for the atomic bombs used in World War II, died of natural causes Wednesday at his home in Pasadena, Calif., according to Caltech spokeswoman Deborah Williams-Hedges. Mr. Christy was one of the early recruits to the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos Laboratory, a U.S. government research project to develop atomic weapons during the war. He was handpicked to join by his University of California, Berkeley, professor J. Robert Oppenheimer, with whom Mr. Christy studied quantum mechanics.
October 4, 2012 |
As with many husbands on Thanksgiving, Daniel D. Friel Sr. was asked by his wife to carve the big turkey. But when the soon-to-retire DuPont Co. executive tried to find a knife with a decent edge, he came up empty. "He attempted to sharpen them with what tools he had, and he found they didn't work. He basically made a mess of the turkey," Mr. Friel's son, Daniel Jr., said. That experience led Mr. Friel Sr. to his life's Act II: founding EdgeCraft Corporation in Avondale, Pa., and developing the popular Chef'sChoice® line of culinary tools, including knife sharpeners, food slicers, and waffle makers.
October 16, 2008 |
Few major modern operas enter the world with so little critical consensus as Doctor Atomic. Embraced and dismissed but not for consistent reasons, John Adams' opera about the invention of the atomic bomb made the rounds in San Francisco, Chicago, Amsterdam, but arrived at the Metropolitan Opera on Monday with a twist. Instead of the original Peter Sellars production, British filmmaker Penny Woolcock (whose movie version of Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer is maybe the best-ever opera film)
March 1, 2003 |
William J. Prichard, 90, of West Brandywine and Havertown, a research chemist who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II and an avid photographer, died Feb. 21 at Brandywine Hospital of heart arrhythmia. A resident of Freedom Village retirement community in West Brandywine, Mr. Prichard lived in Havertown for most of his life and spent his happiest hours sailing on the Chesapeake Bay or using his chemical knowledge in the darkroom, experimenting with unusual techniques in printing black-and white photographs.
August 28, 2000
Hermann Lisco, a gifted scientist and legendary teacher, died last week. He was a quiet man from an unquiet place. German-born, he received his medical degree from the University of Berlin in 1936, came to the United States to teach pathology at Johns Hopkins University, and was recruited to the Manhattan Project. In secret, he worked with a team of scientists at the University of Chicago studying the biological effects of a strange new human creation: plutonium. Later, he was flown to Los Alamos to study the first person ever to be killed by acute radiation poisoning.