Atomic bomb explosion

Saturday Science Lecture with Mike Ogilvie on Compton and WWII: the Manhattan Project

Mike Ogilvie from the Department of Physics, Washington University in St. Louis, will be hosting this Saturday Science Lecture on "Compton and WWII: the Manhattan Project"

Arthur Holly Compton played a key role in the development of atomic weapons by the United States during World War II. Although the history of the Manhattan Project is filled with colorful characters and interesting stories, Compton, along with Oppenheimer, was one of the most important figures in the development of atomic weapons. His efforts just before US entry into the war were crucial in developing US government interest in atomic weapons. Once the Manhattan project began, he was responsible for the production of plutonium and the development of a plutonium-based weapon, which culminated in the bombing of Nagasaki. We will explore the history and physics of Compton’s contributions during the war and immediately after. 

This lecture is being presented as part of the Compton Centennial Celebration honoring 100 years since Arthur Holly Compton discovered the dual particle/wave nature of X-rays.

The Zoom link will be sent via email to everyone on our email list before each lecture. Those wishing to join the email list should email a request to