Go to Home Page
  Library Biographies Louis Slotin

Louis Slotin

Louis Slotin was a scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project. In 1946, he performed a risky experiment, called "tickling the dragon's tail," in which two globes of plutonium are brought together until separated only by a screwdriver. In this instance, the globes touched and set off a nuclear chain reaction filling the room with harmful radiation. Slotin pushed the globes apart with his bare hands to stop the reaction. In doing so, he saved seven other co-workers in the room. By separating the globes, Slotin subjected himself to a lethal dose of the radiation. Within a week he died an excruciating death.

Printer Friendly

More on the Web
Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues