Science: The Wonderful Pile

General Leslie Groves, Grand Panjandrum of military atomics, made a minor concession to the cause of science. The Oak Ridge Laboratory, he said last week, was working on an experimental plant for producing atomic power. It should be finished in a year.

But many scientists, though interested in atomic power, are more interested in the radioactive materials from the Oak Ridge chain-reacting pile. These promise a scientific revolution.

The pile, a rather simple device, consists of uranium rods stuck through a large mass of graphite. Some uranium atoms—those with an atomic weight of 235—split in two, producing energy and shooting out neutrons, which...

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