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Jewish scientists played a key role in Los Alamos' Manhattan Project effort to develop the first atomic bombs. The role of these research luminaries in LANL's Theoretical Division, such as Hans Bethe, Victor Weisskopf, Richard Feynman and John von Neumann among others will be explored in a talk at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Bradbury Science Museum.
The talk, "Jews in Theory: A Snapshot of Theoretical Division at Los Alamos in 1945" will be delivered by Jack Shlachter, LANL's Theoretical Division deputy division leader, and it is open to the public. Shlacter is also a local rabbi. All events at LANL's Bradbury Science Museum are free.
Shlachter notes key positions within T Division that were held by scientists like Bethe, who J. Robert Oppenheimer chose to run Theoretical Division, and in 1967 he won a Nobel Prize in physics.
Acccording to Shlacter, four future Nobel Laureates, all Jewish, worked in the Theoretical Division during its Manhattan Project heyday and almost 25 percent of its employees were Jewish.
The Bradbury Science Museum is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.