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  1. MANHATTAN DISTRICT HISTORY PROJECT Y THE LOS ALAMOS PROJECT VOL. II AUGUST 1945 THROUGH DECEMBER 1946

    THESE TWO VOLUMES CONSTITUTE A RECORD OF THE TECHNICAL, ADMINISTRATIVE , AND POLICY-MAKING ACTIVITIES OF THE LOS ALAMOS PROJECT (PROJECT Y) FROM ITS INCEPTION UNDER THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ATOMIC BOMB (VOL. I), AND DURING THE PERIOD FOLLOWING THE END OF WORLD WAR II UNTIL THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT RELINQUISHED CONTROL TO THE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION AS OF JANUARY 1947 (VOL. II). ALTHOUGH SEC URITY REGULATIONS HAVE REQUIRED SOME DELETIONS IN THE ORIGINAL TEXT OF THE TWO VOLUMES, EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO RETAIN THE ORIGINAL LANGUGAGE AND EXPERSSIONS OF THE AUTHORS.
  2. MANHATTAN DISTRICT HISTORY PROJECT Y THE LOS ALAMOS PROJECT VOL. I INCEPTION UNTIL AUGUST 1945

    THESE TWO VOLUMES CONSTITUTE A RECORD OF THE TECHNICAL, ADMINISTRATIVE , AND POLICY-MAKING ACTIVITIES OF THE LOS ALAMOS PROJECT (PROJECT Y) FROM ITS INCEPTION UNDER THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ATOMIC BOMB (VOL. I), AND DURING THE PERIOD FOLLOWING THE END OF WORLD WAR II UNTIL THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT RELINQUISHED CONTROL TO THE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION AS OF JANUARY 1947 (VOL. II). ALTHOUGH SECURITY REGULATIONS HAVE REQUIRED SOME DELETIONS IN THE ORIGINAL TEXT OF THE TWO VOLUMES, EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO RETAIN THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE AND EXPRESSIONS OF THE AUTHORS.
  3. On The Export Control Of High Speed Imaging For Nuclear Weapons Applications

    Since the Manhattan Project, the use of high-speed photography, and its cousins flash radiography1 and schieleren photography have been a technological proliferation concern. Indeed, like the supercomputer, the development of high-speed photography as we now know it essentially grew out of the nuclear weapons program at Los Alamos2,3,4. Naturally, during the course of the last 75 years the technology associated with computers and cameras has been export controlled by the United States and others to prevent both proliferation among non-P5-nations and technological parity among potential adversaries among P5 nations. Here we revisit these issues as they relate to high-speed photographicmore » technologies and make recommendations about how future restrictions, if any, should be guided.« less
  4. Go Pink! The Effect of Secondary Quanta on Detective Quantum Efficiency

    Photons are never directly observable. Consequently, we often use photoelectric detectors (eg CCDs) to record associated photoelectrons statistically. Nonetheless, it is an implicit goal of radiographic detector designers to achieve the maximum possible detector efficiency1. In part the desire for ever higher efficiency has been due to the fact that detectors are far less expensive than associated accelerator facilities (e.g. DARHT and PHERMEX2). In addition, higher efficiency detectors often have better spatial resolution. Consequently, the optimization of the detector, not the accelerator, is the system component with the highest leverage per dollar. In recent years, imaging scientists have adopted themore » so-called Detective Quantum Efficiency, or DQE as a summary measure of detector performance. Unfortunately, owing to the complex nature of the trade-space associated with detector components, and the natural desire for simplicity and low(er) cost, there has been a recent trend in Los Alamos to focus only on the zerofrequency efficiency, or DQE(0), when designing such systems. This narrow focus leads to system designs that neglect or even ignore the importance of high-spatial-frequency image components. In this paper we demonstrate the significant negative impact of these design choices on the Noise Power Spectrum1 (NPS) and recommend a more holistic approach to detector design. Here we present a statistical argument which indicates that a very large number (>20) of secondary quanta (typically visible light and/or recorded photo-electrons) are needed to take maximum advantage of the primary quanta (typically x-rays or protons) which are available to form an image. Since secondary particles come in bursts, they are not independent. In short, we want to maximize the pink nature of detector noise at DARHT.« less
  5. HANDBOOK FOR CONDUCTING ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS RELATED TO TRIBAL AND INDIAN PARTICIPATION IN THE CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION AND CLEANUP OF THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS COMPLEX

    There were three major projects undertaken at the outset of the DOE/EM 22 Cooperative Agreement back in September 1995. There was a project relating to Tribal oral histories. Another project of the Cooperative Agreement related to technology and Tribal values and needs. This project by analogy could apply to issues of technology, environmental cleanup and other indigenous peoples internationally. How can Indian Tribes participate in defining the need for technology development rather than merely learning to adapt themselves and their situations and values to technology developed by others with differing needs, values and economic resources? And the third project wasmore » the placement of a Tribal intern in EM-22.« less
  6. Igniting the Light Elements: The Los Alamos Thermonuclear Weapon Project, 1942-1952

    The American system of nuclear weapons research and development was conceived and developed not as a result of technological determinism, but by a number of individual architects who promoted the growth of this large technologically-based complex. While some of the technological artifacts of this system, such as the fission weapons used in World War II, have been the subject of many historical studies, their technical successors--fusion (or hydrogen) devices--are representative of the largely unstudied highly secret realms of nuclear weapons science and engineering. In the postwar period a small number of Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory's staff and affiliates were responsiblemore » for theoretical work on fusion weapons, yet the program was subject to both the provisions and constraints of the US Atomic Energy Commission, of which Los Alamos was a part. The Commission leadership's struggle to establish a mission for its network of laboratories, least of all to keep them operating, affected Los Alamos's leaders' decisions as to the course of weapons design and development projects. Adapting Thomas P. Hughes's ''large technological systems'' thesis, I focus on the technical, social, political, and human problems that nuclear weapons scientists faced while pursuing the thermonuclear project, demonstrating why the early American thermonuclear bomb project was an immensely complicated scientific and technological undertaking. I concentrate mainly on Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory's Theoretical, or T, Division, and its members' attempts to complete an accurate mathematical treatment of the ''Super''--the most difficult problem in physics in the postwar period--and other fusion weapon theories. Although tackling a theoretical problem, theoreticians had to address technical and engineering issues as well. I demonstrate the relative value and importance of H-bomb research over time in the postwar era to scientific, politician, and military participants in this project. I analyze how and when participants in the H-bomb project recognized both blatant and subtle problems facing the project, how scientists solved them, and the relationship this process had to official nuclear weapons policies. Consequently, I show how the practice of nuclear weapons science in the postwar period became an extremely complex, technologically-based endeavor.« less
  7. Documents and related materials associated with the contents and the origin of the Los Alamos technical series and the national nuclear energy series

    The rationale for preparing this document arose from the fact that the author (who worked in D-Building during WWII) was asked to contribute a short article on {open_quotes}Plutonium Metallurgy at Los Alamos During the War{close_quotes} for inclusion in the 50th anniversary book, {open_quotes}Behind Tall Fences,{close_quotes} published in 1993 by the J.R. Oppenheimer Memorial Committee. I agreed, believing that all of the source material needed was readily available in the Los Alamos Technical Series, a detailed account of all of the R&D carried out at Los Alamos from 1943 to 1945. The obvious place to start was the LANL Report Library.more » As will be seen by the perusing the following memoranda and reports (which were assembled one at a time by following up successive leads), it finally turned out that, of all six chapters of Vol. 10, {open_quotes}Metallurgy,{close_quotes} of which Cyril S. Smith was the general editor, the only one {open_quotes}not yet issued{close_quotes} was Chapter I on {open_quotes}Plutonium Metallurgy,{close_quotes} which had been assigned to Eric R. Jette, the wartime Group Leader of the Plutonium Metallurgy Group. Jette left Los Alamos at the end of August 1956 to join the Union Carbide Research Institute in Tarrytown, New York, where he was director until June 1962 when he retired to his valley home in Pojoaque. In February 1963, he was awarded the US Atomic Energy Commission citation for meritorious contributions to the Nuclear Energy Program; shortly thereafter he died. Before accepting the fact that Chapter I did not exist, the present author undertook to find out as much as possible about the Los Alamos Technical Series, including the circumstances relating to its preparation. The related memos, etc., once retrieved, seemed worth preserving in a single report-hence this document.« less
  8. Geomorphology of plutonium in the Northern Rio Grande

    Nearly all of the plutonium in the natural environment of the Northern Rio Grande is associated with soils and sediment, and river processes account for most of the mobility of these materials. A composite regional budget for plutonium based on multi-decadal averages for sediment and plutonium movement shows that 90 percent of the plutonium moving into the system is from atmospheric fallout. The remaining 10 percent is from releases at Los Alamos. Annual variation in plutonium flux and storage exceeds 100 percent. The contribution to the plutonium budget from Los Alamos is associated with relatively coarse sediment which often behavesmore » as bedload in the Rio Grande. Infusion of these materials into the main stream were largest in 1951, 1952, 1957, and 1968. Because of the schedule of delivery of plutonium to Los Alamos for experimentation and weapons manufacturing, the latter two years are probably the most important. Although the Los Alamos contribution to the entire plutonium budget was relatively small, in these four critical years it constituted 71--86 percent of the plutonium in bedload immediately downstream from Otowi.« less
  9. Thirty-five years at Pajarito Canyon Site

    A history of the research activities performed at the Pajarito Canyon Site from 1946 to 1981 is presented. Critical assemblies described include: the Topsy assembly; Lady Godiva; Godiva 2; Jezebel; Flattop; the Honeycomb assembly for Rover studies; Kiwi-TNT; PARKA reactor; Big Ten; and Plasma Cavity Assembly.
  10. Thirty years at Pajarito Canyon Site

    A brief historical account of the critical experiments at the Pajarito Canyon site at Los Alamos from the 1940s to the present is presented. Numerous photographs are included.
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