[ RadSafe ] Dr. Atomic

McMahan, Kimberly L. mcmahankl at ornl.gov
Tue Oct 18 09:33:13 CDT 2005

Gee, after all these years ... I never understood that Pu was an
abbreviation for Puritan. What a juxtaposition!

Kim McMAHAN    ORNL External Dosimetry    865.576.1566

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of Stabin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2005 6:50 AM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Dr. Atomic

Do you like opera? I sure don't. Here's a snip from a NY Times review of
the opera "Dr. Atomic", opening in San Francisco now. I seriously doubt
that anyone could make me love hearing this second part below. This will
NOT go on the RADAR music page, no way.

Some of them are natural songs, like the John Donne poem from which J.
Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Manhattan Project, got the name
Trinity and that he sings with a mixture of pride and dread scrabbling
on the desert floor: 

Batter my heart, three person'd God .... 
Take me to you, imprison me, for I 
Except you' enthrall me, never shall be free, 
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Others are lines that only an opera singer could make you love, about,
say, how the detonators are placed around the bomb's core to compress it
to the critical mass necessary to ignite nuclear fission:

We surround the plutonium core 
from thirty two points 
spaced equally around its surface, 
the thirty two points 
are the centers of the 
twenty triangular faces 
of an icosahedron 
interwoven with the 
twelve pentagonal faces of a dodecahedron.


Michael G. Stabin, PhD, CHP
Assistant Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences 
Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences 
Vanderbilt University 
1161 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37232-2675 
Phone (615) 343-0068
Fax   (615) 322-3764
Pager (615) 835-5153
e-mail     michael.g.stabin at vanderbilt.edu 
internet   www.doseinfo-radar.com

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