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The Sciences at the University at Albany, 1845-2006

Professor Jack Smith, Department of Physics

Jack Smith Jack Smith, seen at left, started college with the New York State College for Teachers Class of 1943, but never graduated from the college instead transferring to Cornell University because he had taken every science and math course the college offered. From Cornell he went to work on the Manhattan Project and was a witness to the explosion of the first atomic bomb in 1945. Below is the condensed version of the letter he wrote to Professors Andrews and Beaver describing the explosion and predicting that it would be impossible to keep the details of the bomb secret which was published in the State College News, the student newspaper. Both the article and the original letter are displayed in the exhibit in the Science Library. Smith returned to the University in the 1960s from General Electric as a Professor of Physics. Click here for an administrative history of the Department of Physics.
State College News newspaper clipping>

Exhibit curated by Geoffrey Williams, University Archivist
Research and design assistance by George Asante, History 499 Archival Intern

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Last updated May 30, 2006