Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

More than 30,000 photos of scientists and their work

University of Chicago H10

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University of Chicago H10

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We charge a usage fee per photo if the photo is published, reproduced in a product or publicly exhibited. This is not a license in the legal sense. As a non-profit institution, we do not make any money providing these photographs. It is only by assessing usage fees that we are able to cover the cost of providing publication quality copies of our photos, preserving the photograph collection according to archival standards, and providing access to the collection by maintaining an online image database. The copyright holder may charge a fee in addition to our service fee.

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Image title: 
Graphite pile at Stagg Field
Credit line: 
University of Chicago, courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

Graphite pile at Stagg Field. "This is the only photograph made during the construction of the first nuclear reactor. The photograph was made in Novermber, 1942 as the 19th layer of graphite was being added. Alternative layers of graphite contained uranium metal and uranium oxide and were spaced by layers of "dead" graphite. Layer 18, almost covered in this photograph, contained uranium. Actual construction was carried on in this manner to the 57th layer which was about one layer beyond the critical or operating dimensions. The roughly spherical form of the structure is shown as is some of the supporting frame work. The reactor was constructed as West Stands, Stagg Field, University of Chicago, and was operated for the first time on December 2, 1942." 

Original format: 
4 photographic prints (4 black and white; (1) 5 x 6 inches; (3) 8.5 x 11 inches)
University of Chicago. Department of Physics