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Bottle of wine drunk after first chain reaction

Bottle of wine drunk after first chain reaction

T162/0060

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Credit

ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The bottle of Chianti drunk immediately after the first nuclear chain reaction was achieved on 2 December 1942 in a squash court at the University of Chicago. The bottle was presented by Eugene Wigner to the team leader, Enrico Fermi. The wine was shared among the physicists in a quiet ceremony and some then signed the bottle. Fermi's signature is visible on the raffia immediately beneath the label, together with those of Walter Zinn, George Weil, A.C. Graves, Albert Wattenberg, Leona Woods, Bill Wilson, W.J. Sturm, L. Sayvetz & Herbert Anderson. The time the chain reaction started, 3.25 pm, was later revised to 3.36 pm.

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