Physics at Oak Ridge

Authors(s):Alvin M. Weinberg Publication:Physics Today Publication Date:June 1950 Publisher: American Institute of Physics Citation:Physics Today 3, 6, 8 (1950) Link:

The research effort here in Oak Ridge bears in some measure on almost every phase of the country's atomic energy program. For the laboratory hereunlike the national laboratories at Argonne, Brookhaven, Berkeley, Ames, and Los Alamos—has no single primary function but has many different areas in which it contributes, with about equal emphasis, to the development of atomic energy technology.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is large; since the recent merger of the research activities at the electromagnetic plant with those of the original Oak Ridge National Laboratory, nearly 2800 technical and nontechnical people are associated with it. Its activities include, on the applied side, radioactive chemical technology; Oak Ridge National Laboratory was the chemical pilot plant for the Hanford plutonium process. It includes reactor technology; the laboratory is engaged in three separate reactor projects, among which are the materials testing reactor to be built at Arco as a joint project of Argonne and Oak Ridge, and the nuclear powered aircraft in cooperation with NEPA and NACA. It includes electromagnetic isotope separation research and production of America's isotopes, both radioactive and stable.