May 21, 2011

May 21: Fatal Accident at Los Alamos, 1946

On May 21, 1946, Louis Slotin was demonstrating the first steps of a fisson reaction. He had two half-spheres of beryllium, separated with the tip of a screwdriver, around a core of plutonium. The screwdriver slipped. Read article here.

Pictured: Recreation of the experiment (simulated). Photo from the US Department of Energy (or its predecessor organization.) From Wikimedia Commons. 

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