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 organized 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—presented Arts and the Nuclear Age, a series of lectures that culminated in an afternoon and evening of performances and talks on December 2, 2017. Programs interacted with several installations responding to Fermi's experiment, as well as with Henry Moore's Nuclear Energy sculpture, which reached the 50th anniversary of its unveiling at the exact 75th anniversary of the experiment.

For a list of commemoration events that were presented by the arts, visit arts.uchicago.edu/nuclear-reactions/events.

Related Links

Nuclear Reactions at UChicago

Public Art on Campus

Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017

Presenters & Sponsors

UChicago Arts
Arts, Science + Culture Initiative
Committee on Japanese Studies at the Center for East Asian Studies
Department of Art History
Department of Cinema & Media Studies
Department of English Language & Literature
Department of Music
Department of Visual Arts
Division of the Humanities
Franke Institute for the Humanities
Film Studies Center
Fireworks by Grucci
Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry
Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago
Nicholson Center for British Studies
Physical Sciences Division
Program in Poetry & Poetics
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
Smart Family Foundation
Smart Museum of Art
Society of Fellows
UChicago Public Art Committee
University Symphony Orchestra