Eugene Wigner (1902-1995)

Professor of Mathematical Physics, Princeton University
Manhattan Project

Eugene Wigner (1902-1995) joined the Princeton faculty in 1930. In 1936, he developed Princeton’s first atom-smashing cyclotron to study nuclear properties of uranium. In 1942 Wigner left Princeton to work on the Manhattan project at the University of Chicago where he played a significant role in the creation of the atomic bomb. After the war, Wigner led nuclear energy development and advocated for civil defense to protect the American public from a nuclear attack. From 1964 to 1965 Wigner served as director of Civil Defense Research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. In 1963, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his research that gave insight into the mathematics and physics of quantum mechanics.

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