Part of Argonne’s tribute to the first reactor, brought to life by Enrico Fermi on December 2, 1942, is a curio piece. It’s a two-and-a-half-minute Lego animation of that event, titled Chicago Pile-1: A Brick History, created by Brick 101, a firm that does Lego animations for a living. When I heard about it, I looked forward to a viewing, mostly to see what a 3D re-enactment reveals about the size of the room, the dimensions of the pile, who stood where, etc.
I guess for a newcomer this imaginative animation may even be revelatory, but in the event my own viewing added little to my understanding. It’s historically accurate at a macro level, albeit with a couple of detail-related quirks, but the stricture of having to mostly use standard Lego pieces, and the very nature of Lego, renders the action too clunky to add to my store of knowledge.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the experience, and a companion video about the Lego animation process, is quite beguiling.