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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

David Leonard Anderson (1919-1996) was an American physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos and in the Pacific.

Born in Portland, Oregon, Anderson graduated with his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1941. During World War II, Anderson helped teach electronics to servicemen. As a civilian scientist and later as a Naval officer, Anderson worked for the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos from 1943 to 1946. He then traveled to Tinian, where he served in the X Unit as part of Project Alberta. After the war ended, he also worked on the Operation Crossroads tests in the Bikini Atoll.

Anderson then returned to study physics at Harvard, receiving his  M.A. in 1947 and his Ph.D. in 1950. In 1948, he joined the Department of Physics at Oberlin College, where he was a professor until 1984. From 1963 to 1972, he was the chair of the department. He authored several books, including The Discovery of the Electron and The Discovery of Nuclear Fission, and a number of articles in scientific journals.

In 1956, Anderson was ordained as an Episcopal priest. He was an associate of Christ Church in Oberlin, Ohio.

David L. Anderson's Timeline
1919 Dec 19th Born in Portland, Oregon.
1941 Received B.S. in Physics from Harvard University.
19431946 Worked at Los Alamos.
1945 Stationed at Tinian as part of Project Alberta.
1946 Stationed at the Bikini Atoll as part of Operation Crossroads.
1947 Received M.A. in Physics from Harvard University.
19481984 Professor of Physics at Oberlin College.
1950 Received Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University.
1956 Ordained an Episcopal priest.
19631972 Chair of the Oberlin College Physics Department.
1996 Mar 9th Died in Oberlin, Ohio.

"Project Alberta" - Los Alamos Destination Team - Tinian Island - 1945. Gunnar Thornton is in the back row, fifth from the left.

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