Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridge / Manhattan Project

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> The Operational Art of War IV >> Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridge / Manhattan Project Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridge / ... - 8/6/2019 5:15:08 AM   
larryfulkerson

 

Posts: 38271
Joined: 4/17/2005
From: Tucson, AZ
Status: offline
Here's a story I want to tell you to cheer you up which comes from "Richard Feynman Lecture -- "Los Alamos From Below" on youtube:
Richard was one of the theoretical physists, working on the Manhatten Project during the mid-40's in WWII. It became important that SOMEONE from the team of people he managed, to go to Oak Ridge and review the plans they had for building the infrastructure that would eventually become the facilities that would begin separating the uranium isotopes to purify the output product through several stages of purification, for the production of a final, highly radioactive, green, fissible, cadmium-uranium-water product. Kept in specifically sized lead-cladded containers which needed to be kept laterally separate, lest a productive exchange of neutrons get started and result in, at the very least, a massive rise in insurance costs for the remainder of the project....it would explode, you see. To prevent any drama stemming from the design of the plant then, it was important that SOMEONE vist the Oak Ridge plant to judge the safety of the proposed process, even though there are ony blueprints of any potential infracture. It would take a special person, conversant in many different scientific fields simutaneously. Such a person didn't exist, but SOMEBODY had to make SOME kind of effort in this reguard so Richard delegated the trip to Oak Ridge to one of his most experienced engineers who suddenly came down with pneumonia with the result that Richard himself had to go.

He said that when he entered the meeting room at Oak Ridge he saw a very long table laid ontop of which was a very long blueprint of the entire process in the language of blueprints. If it were a stack of pages instead of one long document, it would be a sizeable stack. A square with a diagonal line through it, he discovered later, is the symbol for a valve, etc. and Richard said that he was looking at a bewildering jungle of lines and symbols and he could make neither heads nor tails of most of it but didn't say anything or ask any questions for a length of time that would have made any question he asked *now*, to immediately announce to his peers that he was confused. He was there to represent Los Alamos scientists and needed to project a certain role while there to represent all the other Los Alamos scientists as knowlegable and intelligent and for him to ask a trivial question now, displaying obvious ignorance, was unthinkable. So he just kept his mouth to himself and mostly nodded his head and went through the motions for about a half an hour while the Oak Ridge experts pointed at symbols and waved and spoke elequently about the process of the potiential plant. They made it a point to point out to Richard that they were including redundancy in all the more important processes. A stuck valve was not allowed to be the hazzard it might be, there must be a second valve that could be employed to avoid any drama or damage. They seemed to be bragging about it. When they stated to go thorugh the redundancy theme for the second time, Richard became somewhat bored, and he thought he'd perform an experiment just for laughs and giggles, and point to one of those boxes with a diagonal line through it and refer to it as a "valve" just to get some measure of his ignorance and perhaps as well, measure the expertise of these chemical engineers and structural engineers but mostly just to waste some of the time....this had already been going on for about 45 minutes at this point and he was getting really bored. [ I've heard the voice of Richard Finman myself, saying in so many words, that this is absolutely true what I'm about to tell you but you're going to say that it couldn't possibly have happened that way ]. He said that he waited for a lull in the presentation and pointed to one of those boxes-with-a-diagonal-line-through-it symbols, completely at random, and blurted out: "what happens if this valve get's stuck?".

And the team of Oak Ridge engineers went to work and began going back and forth through the blueprint tracing the flow of the various products of a green, highly radioactive cadmium-uranium-water mixture moved. After several minutes of a highly technical conversation the engineers confered among themselves and all soon came to the same conclusion. They all turned to Richard and admitted it was a gamestopper. That one item invalidated their entire process, had exposed their flaw, and would cause a massive revision to the proposed process. The Oak Ridge man in charge said: "You're absolutely right. It's a major problem." Richard said his stature in the scientific community gained a huge boost because of that one episode, which he swears is absolutely true.



< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 8/6/2019 5:26:22 AM >


_____________________________

“The single greatest threat to our national security is our debt.” –Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Post #: 1
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/6/2019 4:12:21 PM   
mdanz


Posts: 97
Joined: 7/24/2018
Status: offline
Yikes..

(in reply to larryfulkerson)
Post #: 2
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/6/2019 4:59:51 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 663
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: offline
Interesting story!! A related story, from when I worked on the NUMEC / Apollo case many years ago (spoiler: the material went into the environment, not to Israel)

Back in the late '60s, NUMEC was manufacturing plutonium "batteries" for the space race, and the workers in the plant at Parks Township / Apollo used the "gloves" and remote handling in what they called "hoods" ... enclosed spaces for handling uranium hexaflouride other nasties.

Anyway, as far as "valves" go, one worker was handling material in a plutonium "hood" when the structure failed, it exploded and spewing micro-amounts of plutonium onto him and all around the working environment ... basically, just an old steel mill, manned by steel workers w/ practically no training in handling such material.

They bundled the guy up into a body bag (was cut up from the explosion), and had a hell of a time finding an emergency room that would take him (b/c he was so contaminated). I think he wound up at University of Pittsburgh. He survived, and settled for (iirc) a lifetime monthly check of 1000$ (a good amount, back then, I think it was 1964 or thereabouts).

Last I knew, the guy was still alive (he would be in his 80s or more by now). You might find something about it on the web, under "The Chobanian Incident"

Scary how loosy-goosy they were back then, before the EPA and stricter regulations for handling. Crazy story, but true, pinky-swear!

Patti Ameno could tell you all about it. She led the charge to bring NUMEC and the contamination to account.

(in reply to mdanz)
Post #: 3
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/6/2019 5:10:33 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 663
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: offline
Ah, here it is:

:: When a glove box – a contained box in which workers handle highly radioactive isotopes via gloves permanently attached to the box – blew up at a Parks Site laboratory, worker Matthew Chobanian of New Kensington was sprayed in the face with acid and plutonium.

He was wrapped in plastic, so as not to spread radiation. According to a newspaper account of court documents, Chobanian’s contamination levels were very high.

His condition was studied by the University of Pittsburgh School of Health.

Although Chobanian’s case was included in a paper, “The Measurement and Management of Insoluble Plutonium in Man,” the school focused on dealing with an industrial accident, said Dr. Niel Wald, a physician and professor of environmental and occupational health at Pitt.

“Our role was essentially to deal with any individual exposure problem,” Wald said. “We were not doing population studies. We dealt with the management of accident exposures.”

Chobanian settled out court with Babcock & Wilcox to receive $12,000 per year, tax-free, for the rest of his life.

:::

https://archive.triblive.com/news/numec-used-apollo-parks-as-guinea-pigs/

Filed under: "experiments of opportunity"

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 4
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/6/2019 7:26:06 PM   
Blond_Knight


Posts: 891
Joined: 5/15/2004
Status: offline
A great power source but if the genie gets out of the bottle youve got a 200 mile radius no one can live in for the next 500+ years.

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 5
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/6/2019 10:28:19 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 663
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Blond_Knight

if the genie gets out of the bottle youve got a 200 mile radius no one can live in for the next 500+ years.


Not true. The residents of Apollo / Parks Township (PA) were subjected to "the Genie out of the bottle " for decades, and they only suffered massive amounts of unusual cancers and shortened life spans ... to this day.

That's why they still have armed guards patrolling around the old Parks Township dump site.

They can still "live" there. They just get cancer from it. But saying they can't "live" there, as if they'd just die instantaneously, is not the case.

Spoiler: the material went into the environment. The whole "went to Israel" was concocted to make you look over there, not in the ground, or the water, or the air, where it really went.

Source: I spent many years on that NUMEC / Apollo case as a document analyst. It went into the river, and the fish, and the ground, and the air. And it contaminated COUNTLESS people.

Ok, no more politics. Carry on!!

(in reply to Blond_Knight)
Post #: 6
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/6/2019 11:22:17 PM   
mdanz


Posts: 97
Joined: 7/24/2018
Status: offline
Double yikes..

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 7
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/7/2019 12:00:25 AM   
Blond_Knight


Posts: 891
Joined: 5/15/2004
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hellen_slith


quote:

ORIGINAL: Blond_Knight

if the genie gets out of the bottle youve got a 200 mile radius no one can live in for the next 500+ years.



But saying they can't "live" there, as if they'd just die instantaneously, is not the case.




haha I stand corrected Sir!
I actually saw a Nova show about a decade ago about how wildlife populations were exploding around Pripyat(Chernoybl). Which amazed scientists and threw out their theories that post-nuclear environments would be lifeless. The downside was that it caused much higher mutations than would be acceptable for humans.
And the aforementioned shorter lifespans.

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 8
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/7/2019 12:37:50 AM   
Lobster


Posts: 3131
Joined: 8/8/2013
From: Third rock from the Sun.
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Blond_Knight


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hellen_slith


quote:

ORIGINAL: Blond_Knight

if the genie gets out of the bottle youve got a 200 mile radius no one can live in for the next 500+ years.



But saying they can't "live" there, as if they'd just die instantaneously, is not the case.




haha I stand corrected Sir!
I actually saw a Nova show about a decade ago about how wildlife populations were exploding around Pripyat(Chernoybl). Which amazed scientists and threw out their theories that post-nuclear environments would be lifeless. The downside was that it caused much higher mutations than would be acceptable for humans.
And the aforementioned shorter lifespans.



You mean deer don't normally have two heads?






Attachment (1)

_____________________________

http://www.operationbarbarossa.net/

"Getting back to reality...I'll only go as a tourist!"

(in reply to Blond_Knight)
Post #: 9
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/7/2019 1:37:58 AM   
mdanz


Posts: 97
Joined: 7/24/2018
Status: offline
How come when nature gets as screwed up as that it always has two heads?
Why not two asses?

(in reply to Lobster)
Post #: 10
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/9/2019 7:40:28 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

Posts: 38271
Joined: 4/17/2005
From: Tucson, AZ
Status: offline
Tucked away at in the basement of the Grodno Medical State University in Belarus is a small museum that isn’t for the faint-hearted. Lined up against the walls are rows of glass containers holding preserved fetuses and babies with serious deformities: Siamese twins who remained connected after birth, “mermaids” with their legs fused together, fetuses with only one eye, babies with two faces.

These malformed fetuses were collected during the 19th and 20th century, and initially remained in storage until 2000 when an exhibit was created and opened to the public for a brief period. It reopened in its current format in 2012 and is a fascinating spot for those interested in teratology, or the study of abnormal formations and anatomical abnormalities.

One of the missions of the museum is to emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles. To this end, the museum is divided into two halls. One of the halls contains exhibits relating to common lifestyle problems like smoking, alcoholism, and obesity. The other hall houses the collection of babies with abnormalities that researchers believe were a result of the parent’s lifestyle choices. A similar collection would be hard to gather today thanks to modern medical advances that have made it easy to diagnose such problems in the early stages of a pregnancy.



_____________________________

“The single greatest threat to our national security is our debt.” –Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

(in reply to mdanz)
Post #: 11
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/10/2019 9:21:34 AM   
LeeChard

 

Posts: 1009
Joined: 9/12/2007
From: Michigan
Status: offline
Great Story!
I heard another one, I'm not sure where and whether it's true.
A group of Los Alamos scientists were in a room with an equation on the blackboard arguing some point.
General Groves(who was rather looked down upon by some smug geniuses)was in the back listening in.
He then walked up to the blackboard, erased a small section and corrected it.
That earned the military man some grudging respect.
I would like to think it's a true story. Maybe someone out there can confirm or deny it.

(in reply to larryfulkerson)
Post #: 12
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/10/2019 10:08:58 AM   
Lobster


Posts: 3131
Joined: 8/8/2013
From: Third rock from the Sun.
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: LeeChard

Great Story!
I heard another one, I'm not sure where and whether it's true.
A group of Los Alamos scientists were in a room with an equation on the blackboard arguing some point.
General Groves(who was rather looked down upon by some smug geniuses)was in the back listening in.
He then walked up to the blackboard, erased a small section and corrected it.
That earned the military man some grudging respect.
I would like to think it's a true story. Maybe someone out there can confirm or deny it.


His Noncom driver probably did that. Everyone knows officers are not that smart.

_____________________________

http://www.operationbarbarossa.net/

"Getting back to reality...I'll only go as a tourist!"

(in reply to LeeChard)
Post #: 13
RE: Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridg... - 8/12/2019 1:35:04 PM   
LeeChard

 

Posts: 1009
Joined: 9/12/2007
From: Michigan
Status: offline

(in reply to Lobster)
Post #: 14
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> The Operational Art of War IV >> Off Topic....Richard Finman / Los Alamos / Oak Ridge / Manhattan Project Page: [1]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.137