Oak Ridge National Laboratory: The First Fifty Years

Overview

Inaugurated fifty years ago as a key component in the Manhattan Project, Oak Ridge National Laboratory remains one of the nation's premier research institutions. This profusely illustrated volume, written for a non-scientific readership, chronicles the history of the laboratory from its origins to the present day. Leland Johnson and Daniel Schaffer begin their narrative in 1943 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built ORNL in the hills of East Tennessee to produce plutonium for atomic weapons. After World War ...
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Overview

Inaugurated fifty years ago as a key component in the Manhattan Project, Oak Ridge National Laboratory remains one of the nation's premier research institutions. This profusely illustrated volume, written for a non-scientific readership, chronicles the history of the laboratory from its origins to the present day. Leland Johnson and Daniel Schaffer begin their narrative in 1943 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built ORNL in the hills of East Tennessee to produce plutonium for atomic weapons. After World War II, ORNL became a center for fundamental scientific research under the successive management of the Atomic Energy Commission, the Energy Research and Development Administration, and the Department of Energy. Since 1945, the laboratory's contributions to national defense have been balanced by its investigations in many other areas, including nuclear medicine and environmental research. As the authors demonstrate, Oak Ridge National Laboratory represents the concerns of the American scientific establishment in microcosm. The facility was part of the flourishing of "big science" that began in the 1940s, and the workings of ORNL clearly illustrate the ties between scientific research and military concerns that continued well into the post-World War II era. Now that the Cold War is over, the laboratory's activities have embarked in directions that reveal the nation's new priorities in science, the environment, and technology. Thus this book, by offering a window into the past and present activity at Oak Ridge, allows the reader to glimpse the larger trends within the scientific community.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Born as part of the Manhattan Project, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1993. Johnson, former director of the Clio Research Company, and Schaffer, assistant director of the Energy, Environment, and Resources Center of the University of Tennessee, chronicle 50 years of people, projects, and equipment at Oak Ridge and the building of its world-class scientific reputation. They also explore the periodic reinvention of its agenda-from atomic bomb research to the development of atomic reactors, from space studies to the study of ecology and the environment-as our societal and governmental needs changed. The writing is straightforward, the discussion lucid, and the history fascinating to read. Highly recommended for all collections, especially those in the history of science and American history.-Michael D. Cramer, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State Univ. Libs., Blacksburg
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870498541
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1994
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 828,741
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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