Meet One of the Youngest, Last Surviving Manhattan Project Scientists

Murray Peshkin is one of the last surviving Manhattan Project scientists. This is his story, told after our trip to the crater of the first atomic bomb, on its 70th birthday.

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Aug 7 2015, 10:25pm

Murray Peshkin is a 90-year-old theoretical physicist who began his career at Los Alamos in 1945, working on the Manhattan Project. He was the youngest man toiling on what would become the first atomic bomb, and today, he's one of the few left standing.

So, on the 70th anniversary of the virgin bomb exploding in the New Mexico desert, I traveled with Murray to its crater, in an effort to retrace the road to history's greatest weapon. Just after our visit, in the nearby town of Socorro, he sat for a lengthy interview. What follows is, frankly, an incredible inside story of how a 18-year-old physics student was recruited to work on the bomb, and the front-row seat he had to the realization of one of the most important and world-changing technological inventions in history.

And, importantly, how his participation in the event that led to the devastation at Hiroshima has colored the rest of his life. It's essential listening at a moment when the youngest generation is fast losing touch with a force that still has the power to rip civilization apart, in what might be called the twilight of the bomb.

Murray Peshkin.