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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Oral Histories

Bob Carter’s Interview (2018)

Robert Carter spent a year and a half as a graduate student at Purdue University before being recruited to work for the Manhattan Project. At Los Alamos, Carter’s team, which included his close friend Joan Hinton, worked on the research reactor. Eventually, Carter and Hinton came to work closely with Enrico Fermi, who became a mentor and friend to the two of them. Carter fondly recounts his dinners and hikes with Hinton and Fermi, both at Los Alamos and after. After the war, Carter enrolled in graduate courses at University of Illinois before returning to Los Alamos for fifteen years. For the rest of his career, Carter worked for various government agencies before retiring. Carter also discusses his friend Harry Daghlian and advising prominent physicist George Gamow on a project.

Bob Carter’s Interview (2015)

Bob Carter is an American physicist who joined the Manhattan Project first at Purdue and then at Los Alamos. He worked in a group that was assigned to create an operating nuclear reactor that ran on enriched uranium. In this interview, Carter discusses how he came to be interested in physics and wrapped up in the Manhattan Project and nuclear physics instead of being drafted. He also talks about his experience at Los Alamos working on the enriched uranium reactor and how he taught several big name scientists, including Enrico Fermi, how to operate it. Carter also discusses meeting Oppenheimer and seeing the Trinity test unauthorized, as well as his interactions with spies Klaus Fuchs and Ted Hall.

Raemer Schreiber’s Interview (1965)

Raemer Schreiber joined the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos in November 1943, where he worked on the Water Boiler, an aqueous homogeneous reactor used to test critical mass. In 1945, Schreiber was transferred to the Gadget Division and was a member of the pit assembly team for the Trinity Test, watching the explosion from base camp. In this interview, Schreiber describes his time working on the water boiler reactor and in proving that the reaction of uranium could become self-sustaining. Schreiber also discusses the Trinity test and his role in escorting the second plutonium bomb core to Tinian.