Science Students Coming To Los Alamos To Interview Seniors On Manhattan Project For Podcast Series

Matthew Jordan is a Rhodes Scholar coming to Los Alamos with fellow student Nathaniel Smith  to speak to seniors about the Manhattan Ptoject for a podcast series. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

Matthew Jordan is a Rhodes Scholar and an MSc candidate in the History of Science at Oxford University.

Jordan previously studied mathematics and physics in McMaster University’s interdisciplinary Arts & Science program, where he was a TEDx speaker and the only undergraduate student to ever teach a mathematics course.

He has conducted research on the mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics, the history of special relativity and the science of science communication.

Nathaniel Smith is an enthusiastic scientist who studies the way matter and interfaces behave at the nanoscale. His MSc at the University of Waterloo focuses on carbon quantum dots and other fluorescent nanomaterials. He graduated from McMaster University’s Integrated Science program, where he forged the strong belief that innovation requires crossing interdisciplinary boundaries. This interdisciplinary focus has led him to diverse research projects, including the nanofabrication of gold electrodes and cardiac tissue engineering.

Nathaniel Smith

The diverse duo is coming to Los Alamos where they would like to speak to seniors involved with the Manhattan Project. The team is making a series of podcasts inspired by Richard Rhodes’ “The Making of the Atomic Bomb” and have received permission to produce a podcast that highlights his book.

“We are studying the history of the Manhattan project, and want to speak to anyone with first-hand accounts, quirky connections, or charming encounters with the scientists who worked on the atomic bomb,” Jordan said. “The residents of Los Alamos are a living testament to a rich and important history. We want to share their stories as widely as possible.”

Their goal is to share the history of the men and women involved in the Manhattan Project in every capacity: scientists, shift-workers, administrators, military personnel, family members and local Los Alamos residents. They know the community has been a site of great scientific and military activity, and the residents of Los Alamos are a living testament to that rich and important history. They believe history is enriched when full of interesting stories and personal memories.

The podcast will tell the story of the making of the atomic bomb through the eyes of the physicists who, in their dispassionate scientific search for truth and beauty, created an epoch-defining weapon. It will highlight the deeply human stories behind the discovery of atomic fission, the decision to initiate a secret bomb project to preempt a Nazi weapon, and the harrowing use of the weapon in 1945 in Japan.

Nuclear weapons shaped the current world order; this podcast, the first of its kind, will tell the story of the men and women who brought them into existence.

Those interested in sharing fun stories from the time are asked to contact Nathaniel Smith at the University of Waterloo, 289.925.3565 or email