- Year of Death: 1946
- Experiment: The Manhattan Project
- Cause of Death: Massive Radiation Poisoning
Louis Slotin also took part in the infamous Manhattan Project, along with Harry Daghlian, Jr. However, Harry’s incident happened in 1945 and Slotin knew all about it. Everyone involved in the project knew and took major precautions afterward to protect themselves. Slotin had a doctorate in chemistry and helped to design the Cyclotron, an early particle accelerator. It’s obvious that the United States wanted someone like him involved in the development of the first nuclear bomb.
However, in 1946, during an experiment, Slotin dropped a sphere or beryllium onto a second sphere. Both spheres were even wrapped around a plutonium core. This caused an immediate critical reaction, with scientists present claiming to see a “blue glow” of the air ionization as well as feeling a major heatwave. Slotin ran outside and was incredibly ill, then rushed to a hospital where he died just 9 days later. He had massive radiation poisoning, which was equivalent to standing just 4800 feet away from an atomic bomb explosion. As far as killer science experiments go, Slotin went out big.