Science: Three-Ton Question

The scene: Westinghouse Electric's quiet little uranium laboratory. The time: early 1942, when the world's total uranium metal supply was measured in grams and ounces. The action began with an urgent telephoned question from Dr. Arthur H. Compton's mysterious Metallurgical Laboratory in Chicago: "How soon can you supply three tons of pure uranium?" Westinghouse's practical answer is a drama that has just been made public.

Two Westinghouse research scientists, in the process of making, testing and rejecting uranium for lamp filaments, had developed an efficient method for extracting and refining uranium. Their metal was the purest available, and an occasional dribble of...

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