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Edward C. Creutz

Research AssociateChicago, IL

Los Alamos, NMPrinceton, NJ
Manhattan Project VeteranScientist
Edward Creutz

Edward C. Creutz (1913-2009) was an American physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos and at the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory.

After receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Creutz worked with Eugene Wigner at Princeton University. He assisted in the construction of Princeton’s cyclotron, and contributed to experiments on neutron bombardment and using graphite as a neutron moderator.

In 1942, Creutz joined the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago Met Lab. He worked in the Theoretical Group under Wigner and was involved in the design of water-cooled production reactors. These designs were the basis for the production reactors at Hanford. Creutz later shared the patent for the design of the reactors.

Creutz moved to Los Alamos in 1944 and worked on testing the explosive lenses used in the plutonium bomb. Two days before the Trinity test, he oversaw a dummy test that initially indicated that the Trinity test might fail.

After the war, Creutz became a professor at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. In 1955, he evaluated Los Alamos’s thermonuclear program on behalf of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. He was a co-founder of General Atomics, and served as the firm’s Vice President for Research and Development. Creutz contributed to the development of TRIGA, a popular research reactor for laboratories and universities. He published more than 65 papers on topics including physics, metallurgy, and botany.

 

Edward C. Creutz's Timeline
1913 Jan 23rd Born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.
1936 Received a B.S. in mathematics and physics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
1939 Received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
19391941 Worked with Eugene Wigner at Princeton University on building the university's cyclotron, as well as exploring neutron bombardment and nuclear fission.
19421944 Worked on the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory.
19441945 Worked as a group leader, responsible for explosive lens design and testing, at Los Alamos.
1945 Jul 14th Led a dummy test that initially indicated the Trinity test might fail.
1945 Jul 16th Witnessed the successful Trinity test.
1946 Named associate professor of physics at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.
1948 Became head of the Physics Department and director of the Nuclear Research Center at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.
19551956 Evaluated the thermonuclear program at Los Alamos National Laboratory on behalf of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
19551970 Co-founder and Vice President of Research at General Atomics.
19701977 Served as Assistant Director for Research at the National Science Foundation.
2009 Jun 27th Died in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

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