On December 2 falls the 75th anniversary of the very first nuclear reactor, CP-1 at the University of Chicago. A couple of days ago, the university posted a write-up of the momentous event by Michael Drapa. This event is close to my heart and I greatly enjoyed revisiting the drama, both in the post and in an embedded four-and-a-half-minute video narrated with great verve by Rachel Bronson (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists), Eric Isaacs (UoC), and Robert Rosner (UoC).
Unsurprisingly, nothing new popped out about CP-1 (the historical trail is rather scant), but I loved seeing a photo of the university’s Stagg Field, under which CP-1 was erected. It’s in the University of Chicago’s Special Collections Research Center and I’ve reproduced it above. I went through that collection but missed this shot!
No doubt December 2 will spawn numerous dedications and reconstructions, all of which I look forward to.