CP-1 at 80: Preparing for the first controlled nuclear chain reaction

November 17, 2022, 3:08PMNuclear News
From left, the cover of the December 1962 issue of NN, featuring a model and a medal, both displayed at the 1962 ANS Winter Meeting; a photo of CP-1 during construction, as published in the November 1992 issue of NN; the opening page of a chronological account of CP-1, published in November 1992 to mark the 50th anniversary.

As we approach the 80th anniversary of controlled nuclear fission, Nuclear Newswire is prepared to deliver not one but three #ThrowbackThursday posts of CP-1 highlights unearthed from past issues of Nuclear News.

ANS was founded in 1954, nearly 12 years after the first controlled nuclear chain reaction was achieved on December 2, 1942, inside a pile of graphite and uranium assembled on a squash court at the University of Chicago’s Stagg Field. By 1962, ANS was prepared to “salute the 20th anniversary of the first chain reaction” at their Winter Meeting, displaying a model of Chicago Pile-1 and presenting a specially cast medal to Walter Zinn, a representative of Enrico Fermi’s scientific team. Over the years, ANS has continued to mark significant anniversaries of CP-1 at national meetings and in NN.

Jack Steinberger, Nobel laureate in physics, dies at 99

December 17, 2020, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Jack Steinberger, a Nobel Prize–winning scientist with a distinguished career in experimental physics, died December 12. He was 99.

Steinberger was most famous for his co-discovery of a new type of ghostlike particle called the muon neutrino—a breakthrough that earned him, Leon Lederman, and Melvin Schwartz the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988. Steinberger studied the basic particles that make up the universe, and the elemental forces that govern their interactions, over a long scientific career that was jump-started by Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago.