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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as Subject

Harold M. Agnew

Photo

Dates

March 28, 1921 – September 29, 2013

Authorized Form of Name

Agnew, Harold M.

Additional Forms of Names

Agnew, Harold M. (Harold Melvin), 1921-2013

Biography

Abstract

Was the last surviving major figure to have been present at the birth of the nuclear age. He was a physicist who helped build the world's first reactor and atomic bombs, flew on the first atomic strike against Japan, filmed the mushroom cloud, helped perfect the hydrogen bomb, and led the Los Alamos National Laboratory at the height of the Cold War.

Important Dates

March 28, 1921Birth, Denver (Colo.).

1942Obtained AB in Chemistry, University of Denver, Denver (Colo.).

1942 – 1943Researcher, Manhattan Project, Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory.

1948Obtained MS in Physics, University of Chicago, Chicago (Ill.).

1949Obtained PhD in Physics, University of Chicago, Chicago (Ill.).

1949 – 1979Researcher, Manhattan Project (1943-1946); National Research Fellow, Physics Division (1949-1950); Assistant to Technical Associate Director (1951-1953); Physicist, Theoretical Division (1954-1956); Leader, Alternative Weapons Division (1956-1961); Leader, Weapons Nuclear Engineering Division (1964-1970); and Director (1970-1979), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos (N.M.).

1955 – 1961State Senator, State of New Mexico, Santa Fe (N.M.).

1957 – 1968Member, Scientific Advisory Board, United States Air Force.

1961 – 1964Scientific Adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

1965 – 1984Chair, Science Advisory Group, Combat Development Command (1965-1966); Chair, Scientific Advisory Panel (1966-1970 and 1966-1974); and Member, Army Science Board (1978-1984), United States Army.

1966Awarded the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, United States Department of Energy.

1966 – 1970Member, Defense Science Board, United States Department of Defense.

1968 – 1974Member, Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

1974 – 1982Chair, General Advisory Committee (1974-1978) and Member, General Advisory Committee (1974-1982), United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

1978Awarded Enrico Fermi Award, United States Department of Energy.

1979Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1979 – 1985President, General Atomics, San Diego (Calif.).

1981 – 1988Member, White House Science Council.

1985 – 1987Member, Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

1988 – 2013Adjunct Professor, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.).

September 29, 2013Death, Solana Beach (Calif.).

Occupation

Nuclear physicist.

Places

Birth

Denver (Colo.)

Undergraduate Education

Denver (Colo.)

Graduate Education

Champaign (Ill.)

Employment

Los Alamos (N.M.)

Santa Fe (N.M.)

San Diego (Calif.)

La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.)

Death

Solana Beach (Calif.)

Subjects

Atomic bomb.

Nagasaki-shi (Japan) -- History -- Bombardment -- August 9, 1945.

Nuclear energy.

Nuclear physics.

World War, 1939-1945.

Relationships

People

Family

Agnew, Beverly

Wife.

Advisors & Collaborators

Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954

Ph.D. advisor at University of Chicago, "The Beta-spectra of Cesium-137, Yttrium-91, Chlorine-147, Ruthenium-106, Samarium-151, Phosophorous-32, and Thulium-170" and both employed at Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory (Manhattan Project).

Colleagues

Alfvén, Hannes

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Allison, Samuel King, 1900-1965

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Anderson, Herbert Lawrence

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory and Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Barschall, H. H. (Henry Herman), 1915-1997

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Bederson, Benjamin

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Booker, Henry G.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Bowman, J. D. (J. David)

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Bradbury, Norris, 1909-1997

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Browne, John Charles, 1942-

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Brueckner, Keith A.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Campbell, David K.

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Case, Kenneth M.

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Casten, R.

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Creutz, E.

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Dash, J. G., 1923-

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Dashen, Roger F.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Deutsch, Martin, 1917-2002

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Duffield, Robert B.

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Dynes, Robert C.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Edwards, David F. (David Franklin)

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Feher, George, 1924-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Feigenbaum, Mitchell J.

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Fisk, Zachary

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Fitch, Val L., 1923-2015

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory and Manhattan Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Goldberger, Marvin L.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Greene, J. M. (John M.), 1928-

Both employed at General Atomics.

Haldane, F. Duncan M.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Haxton, Wick C.

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Hecker, Siegfried S.

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Hellman, Frances

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Kerr, Donald M.

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Keyworth, George A., II, 1939-

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Knapp, Edward A.

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Kroll, Norman Myles, 1922-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Malmberg, J. H.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Manley, John Henry, 1907-

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Maple, M. Brian, 1939-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Marshak, Robert E. (Robert Eugene), 1916-1992

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Mayer, Maria Goeppert, 1906-1972

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

McDaniel, Boyce D. (Boyce Dawkins), 1917-

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Monk, George Spencer, 1884

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Moss, Joel M.

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Nelson, Ann E. (Ann Elizabeth)

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

O'Neil, T. M. (Thomas Michael), 1940-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Onuchic, José

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Reines, Frederick, 1918-1998

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Rieser, Leonard M.

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Robinson, C. Paul

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Rosenbluth, M. N.

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory and University of California, San Diego.

Schiff, Leonard I. (Leonard Isaac), 1915-1971

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Sham, L. J.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Snell, Arthur H.

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Stearns, Joyce C.

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Suhl, Harry

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Szilard, Leo

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Teller, Edward, 1908-2003

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Turkevich, Anthony, 1916-2002

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Ulam, Stanislaw M.

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

Whitaker, Martin Dewey

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Wilson, V. C.

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Wiringa, Robert Bruce

Both employed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

York, Herbert F. (Herbert Frank)

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Zacharias, Jerrold Reinach, 1905-1986

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Zinn, Walter H. (Walter Henry), 1906-2000

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Additional

Frauenfelder, Hans, 1922-

Garwin, Richard L.

Kistiakowsky, George B. (George Bogdan), 1900-1982

Morrison, Philip

Neddermeyer, Seth H. (Seth Henry), 1907-1988

Institutions

Major Positions

GA (Series) (San Diego, Calif.)

President.

Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory

National Research Fellow, Physics Division; Assistant to Technical Associate Director; Physicist, Theoretical Division; Leader, Alternative Weapons Division; Leader, Weapons Nuclear Engineering Division; and Director.

Manhattan Project (U.S.)

Researcher, Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory and Researcher, Los Alamos Laboratory.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Scientific Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).

United States. Office of Scientific Research and Development. Metallurgical Laboratory

Researcher, Manhattan Project.

University of California, San Diego. Department of Physics

Adjunct Professor.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

New Mexico. Legislature

State Senator.

United States. Air Force

Member, Scientific Advisory Board.

United States. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

Chair, General Advisory Committee and Member, General Advisory Committee.

United States. Army

Chair, Science Advisory Group, Combat Development Command; Chair, Scientific Advisory Panel; Member, Scientific Advisory Panel; and Member, Army Science Board.

United States. Department of Defense

Member, Defense Science Board.

United States. Department of Energy

1978 Enrico Fermi Award winner.

United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Member, Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel.

University of Chicago. Department of Physics

Received M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics (1948, 1949).

University of Denver. Department of Physics

Obtained A.B. in 1942.

White House Science Council

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Audio and video interviews about the life and work of Richard Garwin, 2004-2012.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Harold Agnew film on Hiroshima and Nagasaki explosions (motion picture), 1945.

Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. Archives.

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Manhattan Project videohistory collection (videorecording), 1987-1990.

Archives.

Smithsonian Institution. Archives.

Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507, 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024-2520, USA

Proceedings (sound recording): papers presented at the Enrico Fermi and the beginnings of nuclear fission Centennial Conference. 2001 November 15 and 16.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

Hans Frauenfelder response to survey on the impact of immigration on U.S. physics, 1999.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Harold M. Agnew, 2006 May 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Philip Morrison, 2002 December 19 and 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Outtakes and candid footage from the production of : The world of Enrico Fermi, circa 1930-1968.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Text materials for documentary film: The world of Enrico Fermi, circa 1930-1968.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

The world of Enrico Fermi (motion picture).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Subject

Harold Melvin Agnew Physics Today obituary

The Manhattan project : the birth of the atomic bomb in the words of its creators, eyewitnesses, and historians / edited by Cynthia C. Kelly ; introduced by Richard Rhodes.

The Tritium factor : tritium's impact on nuclear arms reductions : a workshop co-sponsored by Nuclear Control Institute and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, December 1988.