Fermi tests first atomic reactor, 1942

Fermi tests first atomic reactor, 1942

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Fermi tests first atomic reactor, 1942. Italian-US nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi (1901-1954, centre) and an assistant testing the world's first atomic pile at the University of Chicago, USA, in 1942. This reactor, Chicago Pile-1 (CP-1), was built in a racquets court at the University of Chicago, USA. It became self-sustaining on 2 December 1942. The reactor used uranium fuel with graphite control rods (the insertion of a control rod is shown here). This work led to the production of the fuel for the first atom bombs, as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II. This photograph is from Project Physics film 'The World of Enrico Fermi'.Restrictions:

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