Science: Mr. Clean

Scientists at the Sandia Corp. in Albuquerque, where nuclear weapons are designed and assembled, have a passion for cleanliness. They have to. As weapons components are made smaller and still smaller, the presence of a single particle of dust can make larger and still larger trouble. The strictest housekeeper in all Sandia is Texas-born Physicist Willis J. Whitfield, creator of the Whitfield Ultra-Clean Room. "I thought about dust particles," he says with a slight drawl. "Where are these rascals generated? Where do they go?" Once he answered his own questions Physicist Whitfield decided that conventional industrial clean rooms are wrong in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!