Mot'am I'm Atom


Sunday, October 28, 2007 - 17:00

Download episode

Meet the Atom. It's small, mostly empty, and held together by nature's strongest force. Without this nanoid nuclear bundle, you and I wouldn't be here. But the atom is not without its quarks. The uncontrolled splitting of atomic nuclei can vaporize civilization. When kept on a leash, this same mechanism can supply power enough to keep the world's light bulbs aglow indefinitely.

Tour the National Atomic Museum with a former Manhattan Project physicist as he shares the secrets of the atom's power, and of the desperate race to harness that power to win a war. Also, discover the job duties of a 1950s euphemistically-termed "health physicist" in Los Alamos.

Plus, find out why a former protester against nuclear energy now sees this technology as the best approach to solving environmental problems.

Guests:

  • D. Ellett - Manhattan Project veteran and retired physicist from Sandia National Laboratories and now a docent at the National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque.
  • John Taschner - former health physicist from the U.S. Air Force and Los Alamos National Labs and now a docent at the National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque.
  • Gwyneth Cravens - journalist and author of Power to Save the World; The Truth About Nuclear Energy