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UI physicist on symposium panel in Chicago for "Copenhagen" premiere

Kesha Green, News Bureau
(217) 333-1085;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — An emeritus professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who worked on the Manhattan Project will be a panelist at a free symposium for the premiere of the play "Copenhagen" in Chicago.

As a young man, Albert Wattenberg worked under Nobel Prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi, who oversaw the first controlled energy release from the nucleus of the atom at the University of Chicago as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II.

"Copenhagen" revisits the ethical implications surrounding the project, which, in 1942, resulted in the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction.

Michael Frayn's Tony Award-winning play is based on a secret meeting between nuclear scientists Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr in Nazi-occupied Copenhagen.

The Copenhagen Symposium is on Feb. 16 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Oriental Institute Museum, 1155 E. 58th St., on the University of Chicago campus. Wattenberg will provide background information on the American initiative to develop nuclear weapons. Three faculty members from the University of Chicago and one of the actors in the play also will be on the panel.

To make a free reservation to attend the symposium, call (773) 753-4472.

More information about performances of "Copenhagen" is available at