A paragraph about Louis Slotin and his life.

Essay by phonzHigh School, 10th gradeB+, December 2003

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Louis Slotin

Louis Slotin was one of the Canadian scientists working on the Manhattan project. The goal was to build an atomic bomb before Germany could. Slotin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was the eldest child of the Russian-Jewish immigrants. He was a smart student, he went on to study in three different Universities. His work on the Manhattan project was so secret that he couldn't even tell his family what he was doing. Slotin was the one who built the triggering mechanism used to detonate the first test bomb.

One of Slotin's experiments involved joining two pieces to the point where the neutron count increased to a critical state. This procedure was done bare-handed and it was called "Tickling the Dragons Tale".

On May 21, 1946, while he was conducting his experiment, he slipped. Immediately, the lab was filled with a bright blue light. Before an explosion could happen, Slotin lunged forward and separated the two pieces of plutonium with his bare hands.

He took the full force of the nuclear detonation in his gut. The lethal dose of radiation poison caused him to receive an agonising death. His assistant also suffered serious injuries, but the six other people in the room recovered. By this action he managed to save the others. His body was flown back to Winnipeg in a Lead coffin and under the orders of the US military, it was not to be opened.