Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2nd, 1942 and Henry Moore 1967

"Nuclear Energy"

Henry Moore


University of Chicago


Nuclear Energy is a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore that is located on the campus of the University of Chicago at the site of world's first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile. It is on Ellis Avenue, between the Max Palevsky West dormitory and the Regenstein Library. This site is located in the Hyde Park community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The location commemorates the exact location where the Manhattan Project team devised the first nuclear reactor to produce the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction under the former stands of Stagg Field. It was erected for and dedicated at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the splitting of the atom on the grounds by Enrico Fermi in December 2, 1942. Thus, it was dedicated at precisely 3:36 p.m. on December 2, 1967. The site of the first nuclear reaction received designation as a National Historic Landmark in February 18, 1965 and was added to the newly created National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) on October 15, 1966 as one of the original designated historic places. Chicago Pile-1 is one of four Chicago NRHPs on the original list. The site was named a Chicago Landmark on October 27, 1971. The sculpture is described as 14.0 feet (4.3 m) in height and 8 feet (2.4 m) in diameter by the Smithsonian Institution, and it sits atop a base that is 1.5 feet (0.46 m) in height and 10 feet (3.0 m) in diameter. However, the University of Chicago says it is only 12 feet (3.7 m) in height. The sculpture was commissioned by the B. F. Ferguson monument fund. The sculpture reminds some of the human skull, while it reminds others of an atomic mushroom cloud.

Chicago and the Manhattan Project

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