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Title: Monster truck FERMIAC

Abstract

After World War II, Los Alamos was anxious for its own computer. While on a walk along the river during a picnic with their families, Enrico Fermi outlined to L.D.P. King a plan for an analog computer to simulate neutron transport. L.D.P. King built it with materials lying around the Omega Site in Los Alamos Canyon. They used the “FERMIAC” for a couple of years, and it was forgotten, until 1966, when Bengt Carlson found it in his office. The lab drew up some blueprints and it went out on loan to the Smithsonian. It is now on display at LANL’s Bradbury Science Museum. There still are several questions as to how the FERMIAC was used. The FERMIAC is too fragile to handle, so our plan in the summer of 2017 was to build a museum-quality replica, much like the Italians did last year. However, the summer student was leaving before it could be re-constructed. Thus, finding ourselves in a similar situation as Fermi and King, we developed our own one-speed neutron transporter fashioned out of the chassis of a toy monster truck. In conclusion, we describe our “Monster Truck FERMIAC” on an XY problem.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1494461
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-25338
Journal ID: ISSN 2332-4309
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Computational and Theoretical Transport
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 47; Journal Issue: 4-6; Journal ID: ISSN 2332-4309
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; Fermi trolley; neutron trolley

Citation Formats

Urbatsch, Todd James, and Houdek, Connor Joseph. Monster truck FERMIAC. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1080/23324309.2018.1514312.
Urbatsch, Todd James, & Houdek, Connor Joseph. Monster truck FERMIAC. United States. doi:10.1080/23324309.2018.1514312.
Urbatsch, Todd James, and Houdek, Connor Joseph. Sun . "Monster truck FERMIAC". United States. doi:10.1080/23324309.2018.1514312. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1494461.
@article{osti_1494461,
title = {Monster truck FERMIAC},
author = {Urbatsch, Todd James and Houdek, Connor Joseph},
abstractNote = {After World War II, Los Alamos was anxious for its own computer. While on a walk along the river during a picnic with their families, Enrico Fermi outlined to L.D.P. King a plan for an analog computer to simulate neutron transport. L.D.P. King built it with materials lying around the Omega Site in Los Alamos Canyon. They used the “FERMIAC” for a couple of years, and it was forgotten, until 1966, when Bengt Carlson found it in his office. The lab drew up some blueprints and it went out on loan to the Smithsonian. It is now on display at LANL’s Bradbury Science Museum. There still are several questions as to how the FERMIAC was used. The FERMIAC is too fragile to handle, so our plan in the summer of 2017 was to build a museum-quality replica, much like the Italians did last year. However, the summer student was leaving before it could be re-constructed. Thus, finding ourselves in a similar situation as Fermi and King, we developed our own one-speed neutron transporter fashioned out of the chassis of a toy monster truck. In conclusion, we describe our “Monster Truck FERMIAC” on an XY problem.},
doi = {10.1080/23324309.2018.1514312},
journal = {Journal of Computational and Theoretical Transport},
number = 4-6,
volume = 47,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {11}
}

Journal Article:
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