BIAAS: Blog by Kristina Poznan (BIAAS Grantee)


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BIAAS Austro-Americana Blog Series

Atom Splitting /Atomzertrümmerung: Austrian Manhattan Project Scientist Otto Robert Frisch in Los Alamos, 1943-1945

Former Journal of Austrian-American History editor and BIAAS Grantee Kristina Poznan provides a unique survey of Otto Robert Frisch’s experiences in the Los Alamos Laboratory. The Vienna-born physicist immersed himself in the demanding work culture of Los Alamos as well as the stimulating social environment Robert Oppenheimer aimed to instill for “Project Y.”

Excerpt: The U.S. government’s World War II Manhattan Project benefitted from the work of several scientists born in Austria-Hungary, from physicists to chemists to mathematicians. Elizabeth Rona, Leó Szilárd, Edward Teller, John von Neumann, and Eugene Wigner were all from Budapest, George Placzek from Brno, and Stanislaw Ulam from Lviv. Among those born in Vienna were Victor F. Weisskopf and, most significantly for our purposes, Otto Robert Frisch.

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