Enrico Fermi, an Italian theoretical and experimental physicist, is best known for his work and development of Chicago Pile-1, the world’s first nuclear reactor to achieve a stable, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.
Chicago Pile-1 was constructed beneath a rackets court at the University of Chicago as part of the wider Manhattan Project and consisted of a large pile of uranium and graphite blocks assembled in a flattened ellipsoid shape. The reactor went critical on 2 December 1942 at 3:25 PM, with lead scientist Enrico Fermi confirming that the reactor was achieving a self-sustained chain reaction. It remained operational for 28 minutes, producing 0.5 watts of energy (enough to power a small lightbulb), before being shut down. Following Pile-1’s success, it was deconstructed and moved to Red Gate Woods - the future site of the Argonne National Laboratory.
Stone says - “CAUTION–DO NOT DIG BURIED IN THIS AREA IS RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL FROM NUCLEAR RESEARCH CONDUCTED HERE 1943-1949. BURIAL AREA IS MARKED BY SIX CORNER MARKERS 100 FT. FROM THIS CENTER POINT. THERE IS NO (MARKED OUT) DANGER TO VISITORS. – U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 1978”
This was the burial plot of Radioactive materials used in the first stage of the Manhattan Project. At first the materials were just placed in the field in a low lying grave. Once re-found in the late 1970s the feds came in and gave it a proper burial. Geiger meter counts are now in normal ranges.
Many albino deer and other animals can be found in the area surrounding the woods.
Moral of this story,kids. Hiking is fun and full of adventure. the reason why it is my main form of exercise. and don’t trust authority.
i went on a bike ride today in the red gate woods to find the world’s first nuclear reactor and a dismantled nuclear bomb. people like albert einstein and enrico fermi have been to these sites and the whole area holds a huge amount of historical significance to world war two and the manhattan project/creation of the first nuclear bomb. it was cool to get out finally find it!