Alabama Not Just Football: 30 Amazing People Who Were Built By Bama

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Louis Rosen

Louis Rosen was the father of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He had a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Alabama.

He joined the Manhattan Project in 1943 at Los Alamos. Rosen worked alongside nuclear science pioneers like Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, and John von Neumann. His notes at the Trinity atomic bomb test site proved instrumental in refining the bomb and furthering the efforts of the Allied forces in World War II.

Unlike many of his Manhattan Project colleagues, Rosen stayed on at Los Alamos after the war. He built the most powerful atom smasher in the world, which he called a “badly needed bridge between subnuclear and nuclear physics.”

In 1972, the lab built an 800-million-electron-volt accelerator, the beginning of the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility. When it opened in June of 1972, it was the world’s most powerful linear accelerator. The facility is used for research in materials testing, neutron science, and medical radioisotope production.

Now called the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), the facility is sponsored by the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Office of Science, the Office of Nuclear Energy, and the Office of Science and Technology. Research developments in national security and in many fields of science have come from LANSCE’s facilities.

Rosen stayed at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a scientist and an administrator for the rest of his career and worked there until days before his 2009 death. A prize and a research fellowship in his honor are awarded each year by the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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