History Of Jews In LANL’s Theoretical Division Discussed At Public Presentation Oct. 4

LANL News:

Acting Los Alamos National Laboratory Theoretical Division Leader Jack Shlachter discusses the history of Jews in T Division during the Manhattan Project in a special presentation at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4 at the Bradbury Science Museum in downtown Los Alamos. The talk is free and open to the public.

Shlachter notes that in 1945 a “disproportionate fraction” of T Division management was of Jewish origin. He will talk about several of these individuals and explore what role, if any, their religious background played in their lives.

A snapshot of the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory in May, 1945, shows a veritable All-Star Team of physicists, including four future Nobel prize winners, assembled to perform theory, modeling and computation in support of the Manhattan Project. 

Theoretical Division comprised roughly 80 employees and was divided into eight groups. A disproportionate fraction of the Division management was of Jewish origin, and we’ll learn about several of these colorful characters while exploring what role, if any, their religious background played in their lives.

The speaker, Jack Shlachter, is a Ph.D. physicist who has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory since 1979. The bulk of his career was in experimental organizations, but Shlachter became the Deputy Division Leader of Theoretical Division five years ago and is currently serving as the acting Division Leader. 

Shlachter received rabbinic ordination in 1995 and has served as the rabbi of the Los Alamos Jewish Center for more than 15 years.  Rabbi Shlachter’s current rabbinic focus is on Jews in outlying communities, and he is now serving as the High Holiday rabbi in Beijing, China, for Kehillat Beijing (www.sinogogue.org).

This talk has been organized and sponsored by Amazing Journeys, a Jewish travel group, and will be hosted at the Bradbury Science Museum. Admission is free and open to the public.

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