Lectures, tours, exhibitions, and events observing the 75th anniversary of the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at Chicago Pile-1, and the concurrent 50th anniversary of Henry Moore's Nuclear Energy sculpture.
1942: A Historic Breakthrough, an Uncertain Future
Seventy-five years ago, University of Chicago scientists led by Enrico Fermi ushered in the Atomic Age by achieving the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.
Commemorating the Anniversary with the Arts
Recognizing the historical significance of this development, the University is organizing a series of public events beginning in Fall 2017 to commemorate and discuss the complex legacy of what transpired on December 2, 1942. UChicago Arts—in partnership with the Department of Art History, Department of Cinema and Media Studies, Department of Music, Committee on Creative Writing, Department of Visual Arts, Arts, Science & Culture, and the Gray Center—will present Arts and the Nuclear Age, a series of lectures throughout Fall Quarter that culminate in an afternoon and evening of performances and talks on December 2, 2017. Programs will interact with several installations responding to Fermi's experiment, as well as with Henry Moore's Nuclear Energy sculpture, which will reach the 50th anniversary of its unveiling at the exact moment that the 75th anniversary of the experiment arrives.