Photograph of Stagg Field, University of Chicago, as it appeared during World War 2. It was in a squash court here that the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction took place, on 2 December 1942. The atomic pile itself was built under extreme secrecy by a team led by Enrico Fermi. The creation of the atomic pile was the first vital step that led to the Manhattan Project, the development of the first nuclear bomb. Stagg Field is now the home of the university's Regenstein Library.
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