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Herbert L. Anderson

Herbert L. Anderson was born on 24 May, 1914 in New York City. Anderson entered Columbia University in 1931 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1935 and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1936.

Anderson conducted extensive research as an undergraduate on the construction of a cyclotron for Columbia. He also made significant technological advances in the design of the machine and collaborated with Niels Bohr on studying the process of uranium fission. On 25 January, 1939, Anderson was the first physicist in the US to demonstrate the incredible power that resulted from the fission of uranium. He received his doctorate degree in 1940. However, because the nature of his research was considered critical to national security, his thesis entitled, "Resonance Capture of Neutrons by Uranium" was not published until ten years later. Working at the University of

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Chicago, Anderson, along with Enrico Fermi, Leo Szilard and Wally Zinn produced the first man-made nuclear reaction in a project, called CP-1. In 1943, Anderson led a second project, CP-2, in Argonne. He later acted as a consultant for the Hanford reactors, built by Dupont. These were the first reactors to produce plutonium for US nuclear weapons. In 1944, Anderson moved to Los Alamos to contribute to the studies of the critical mass of uranium-235.

Herbert Anderson was inducted into the National Academy of Science in 1960, the American Academy of Arts and Science in 1978. In 1982, received the Enrico Fermi Award.

After suffering for forty years from berylliosis, a result of his exposure to radium and beryllium sources during his research, Herbert Anderson died on 16 July, 1988.