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CHICAGO METRO HISTORY FAIR 2012 SUMMARY STATEMENT FORM

Please TYPE on sheet or use word processing ALL PROJECTS: Attach an annotated bibliography. Please divide primary and secondary sources from each other. Two copies of SSF & Annotated Bibliography are required for competitions. .

Title Exploration vs. Responsibility: Chicago Pile 1 and its Impact on Nuclear Power________ Student name(s) Mindren Lu____________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Project Category: Group Individual

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Check if applicable (and respond to the 3rdquestion): This project uses the 2012 National History Day theme, Revolution, Reaction, and Reform in History

1. THESIS STATEMENT
Present the projects argument or interpretation in two sentences. If you are using the NHD theme, you might want to make it evident in your thesis statement.

The harnessing of nuclear power under Stagg Field in the University of Chicago on December 2nd, 1942, was pivotal to World War II and resulted in mixed reactions and the immediate and long term effects of the potential effect of nuclear energy. This event set the stage for a decade of debate about nuclear safety; the legacy of nuclear power ignited the balance between scientific exploration and social responsibility.

2. SUMMARY OF PROJECT
Briefly explain your project and its conclusion. Include: How and why did change happen and what was the impact? Why is it historically significant? What historical meaning or importance can we learn from your findings?

At the time it was World War II, and fear was growing that Germany could take over the world. After the discovery of nuclear fission and Albert Einsteins E=mc2, Leo Szilard realized that America could create an atomic bomb. So, the Manhattan Project was started. Soon, the scientists needed a test to see if a man-controlled self-sustaining nuclear reaction was possible. So Chicago Pile 1 was created. This was a huge pile of uranium and graphite, with cadmium rods inserted into it. When the last rod was pulled out, a man-controlled self-sustaining nuclear reaction ensued. This experiment showed that an atomic bomb was indeed possible, and it gave the scientists the strength to continue working. Soon, an atomic bomb was created. By then, Germany had surrendered, but Japan had not. To prevent an American invasion, President Truman authorized the use of the atomic bombs against Japan. It saved many Americans lives, but it killed a lot of Japanese. The Japanese surrendered, along with the end of World War II, but not everyone thought it was a good idea. Some people wanted to use the bomb, but when they saw the devastation, they were HORRIFIED, and tried everything in their power to prevent more bombs to be used. Others tried to prevent the bombing from happening from the start. That was not all of its impacts. Then, there was a Soviet test of an atomic bomb, and the Cold War was started. This was the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war, which would mean destruction of the world and a possible blackening of the world, a nuclear winter. Then, the hydrogen bomb was created, which was more powerful than the atomic bomb. World War II is over, and we now have nuclear power plants, all thanks that little key experiment on December 2nd, 1842. But, even today, thanks to the experiment, we have a nuclear arms race, with everyone trying to stop Iran from creating nuclear weapons. 3. Required for projects using the National History Day theme only.
Explain how this project integrates the NHD theme Revolution, Reaction, and Reform in History into its argument.

First of all, this was a reaction to the revolution of World War II. The reaction was, Oh, we cannot let Germany win! We must stop Hitler and his Nazis! Then, we reformed idea of nuclear fission and E=mc2 and managed to create a man-controlled self-sustaining nuclear reaction. That led to the ending of the ensuing revolution. But then, after that, there was mixed but HUGE reactions to the use of the atomic bomb after the horrors and devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (where the two atomic bombings took place).Most people were horrified and did anything they could to create organizations and protest to not let another atomic bombing happen again. Since my project uses all three points of the theme, my History Fair projects integrates the NHD theme Revolution, Reaction, and Reform in History into its argument.

4. PROCESS A. What historical question did you start off withand how did it change once you began doing your research?

My history question started off as: How did Chicago participate in the creation of the atomic bomb? I recalled that something happened in Chicago but I forgot WHAT. As I did more research, I remembered that it was Chicago Pile 1. But, I found out that Chicago had a MUCH bigger impact than I thought [on the atomic bomb and nuclear energy]. Chicago Pile 1 was like the inspiration that kept the scientists going to try to create an atomic bomb. Then, it later spawned the first power reactor [Experimental Breeder Reactor 1], which lit a string of four light bulbs. Even later, I found that Chicago did other things to help, such as the Metallurgical Laboratory. Now, my historical question is: How did Chicago participate in the creation of the atomic bomb, and what were its impacts?

B. What kinds of sources did you use as evidence to develop your argument (for example, letters,
photographs, government documents, interviews, etc.)? I used a variety of sources, including photographs, letters, books, documents, a government document, videos, and websites.

C. Select one piece of evidence that you used and explain how it influenced your argument.
One piece of evidence is the pictures on <http://www.anl.gov/Science_and_Technology/History/Anniversary_Frontiers/alchemy.html>. It shows how the impact of Chicago Pile 1 changed over time. It shows the following CP2 and CP3 as getting more sophisticated and EBR-1 becoming a nuclear power reactor. This shows that the legacy of Chicago Pile 1 is not small.

D. List libraries (other than school), museums, and other institutions that you visited to do your research. I went to the Edgebrook branch of the Chicago Public Library and the Research Center of the Chicago History Museum.