Ad: Work at Los Alamos (Jan, 1956)

There is something weird about an advertisement looking for people to build nuclear bombs. I particularly like the fact that they describe the laboratory as having an “air of freedom”.

BARE PLUTONIUM SPHERE…

“JEZEBEL”

…NEWEST OF THE CRITICAL ASSEMBLIES AT LOS ALAMOS…

— where scientists and engineers, working with some of the Western World’s finest equipment and facilities probe the unknown and seek answers to tomorrow’s problems.

The Laboratory’s program for pioneering in nuclear and thermonuclear power and nuclear propulsion, ranks in importance with the Laboratory’s continuing and ever expanding achievements in atomic weapons research and development.

To top level scientists and engineers, capable of meeting the challenge of independent and original research, application and development work, the Laboratory—with its air of freedom … the exciting presence of new ideas … the stimulation of important things happening-offers unexcelled opportunity.

Los Alamos itself, nestling among the pines on the lower eastern slope of the towering Jemez Mountains, is a delightful small city—an ideal community and climate in which to live and raise a family.

For more detailed information, direct your inquiry and background resume to

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENTIFIC PERSONNEL
Division 312
Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO

4 comments
  1. Stannous says: June 22, 200710:06 am

    Interesting name choice for a nuke:
    OLD TESTAMENT-
    Jezebel uses her control over Ahab to subject Israel to tyranny. After she slaughters the prophets of the Lord, the prophet Elijah confronts her to charge her with abominations. She responds by threatening to kill him as well. After Ahab’s death, Jezebel continues to rule through her son Ahaziah. When Ahaziah is killed in battle, she exercises control through her other son, Jehoram. Jehoram is killed by Jehu, who confronts Jezebel in Jezreel and urges her servants to kill her by defenestration. They comply, throwing her out of a window, and her corpse is left in the nearby street to be eaten by dogs leaving only her skull, feet, and hands in fulfillment of Elijah’s prophecy.
    NEW TESTAMENT-
    She is accused in Revelation 2:20 of inducing members of the church there to commit acts of sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

  2. Firebrand38 says: June 25, 20078:34 pm

    Technically it’s not actually a “nuke”. It was a test apparatus described in Los Alamos Technical Report LA-8762-MS:

    The Jezebel assembly was established to determine the neutronic behavior of an unreflected critical sphere of delta-phase plutonium. Support and control structures were designed to keep neutron reflection to an absolute minimum. The effects of reflection are small enough to allow confident extrapolations to the unreflected sphere. In that respect, the nickel protective coating on the plutonium metal must be taken into account as a component of extraneous reflection.
    Major features of Jezebel, a plutonium sphere clad with O.13-mm-thick nickel, include a stationary central section, upper and lower movable blocks, and a single plutonium control rod. The central section is actually made up of two separate plutonium pieces clamped together.

    Also, in lieu of the Old Testament “Jezebel” happens to be a Bette Davis movie. Quoting from the Internet Movie Data base:
    Set in antebellum New Orleans during the early 1850′s, this film follows Julie Marsden through her quest for social redemption on her own terms. Julie is a beautiful and free spirited, rapacious Southern belle who is sure of herself and controlling of her fiancé Preston Dillard, a successful young banker. Julie’s sensitive but domineering personality–she does not want so much to hurt as to assert her independence–forces a wedge between Preston and herself. To win him back, she plays North against South amid a deadly epidemic of yellow fever which claims a surprising victim.

  3. Dog0 says: July 28, 20089:08 am

    Ummm… Didn’t this sphere of plutonium go supercritical by accident and kill one of the scientists due to radiation exposure?

  4. Charlie says: July 28, 20089:26 am

    Yes, though a decade before this. In subsequent years they developed much better safety mechanism. The person you’re probably thinking about is Loius Slotin. Here’s a wikipedia article with a bunch of info:

    http://en.wikipedia.org…

    By the way, if you’re at all interested in this subject, the book The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes is an incredibly interesting and surprisingly readable book.

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