The S-1 Uranium Committee provided money for Fermi to buy graphite, and he built a pile of graphite bricks on the seventh floor of the Pupin laboratory. By August 1941, he had six tons of uranium oxide and thirty tons of graphite, which he used to build a still larger pile in the Schermerhorn Hall at Columbia.
Steinberg explained that initial experiments were conducted in Pupin and Schermerhorn Halls at Columbia University, thus the name, the Manhattan Project. He went on to say that nearly everyone born before 1970 has a percentage of plutonium in their system because of the chemicals in the food and water. He was told by his doctor that he has about 10,000 times more than the average person due to his close proximity to the chemical at the time he was working on The Manhattan Project. Despite the high percentage Steinberg said he is in fine health.
In 1946, (Ewing) and a handful of graduate students established an academic base for their young science in hastily refurbished rooms in Schermerhorn Hall, outfitted with desks and equipment from government surplus lists. In one room, a trapdoor led to a small space hollowed out of Manhattan’s bedrock, where they intended to install seismic equipment to observe earthquakes.
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