Science: First Decade

In a squash court below the west stands of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, 42 scientists stared intently at a strange pile of graphite bricks. The time was 9:45 on a morning just ten years ago. Italian-born Nobel Laureate Enrico Fermi gave the signal for the experiment to begin. A cadmium control rod was slowly drawn from position. Geiger counters clicked. Control lights flashed. The pen in an automatic recording device moved over graph paper in a rising curve. At 3:45 Dr. Fermi calmly announced: "The reaction is self-sustaining; the curve is exponential." A chain reaction had been achieved...

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