Haroutune (Harry) K. Daghlian, Jr.
- Year of Death: 1945
- Experiment: The Manhattan Project
- Cause of Death: Radiation Poisoning
The Manhattan Project is now infamous, but it took decades before the United States Government ever officially recognized it as something that actually happened. The project involved the research and development of nuclear weapons. Albert Einstein and many other influential scientists from around the world were part of it in some form or another. This included a physicist named Haroutune K. Daghlian, Jr. He actually became an expert in the then-newer field of particle physics. This was why he was part of the Manhattan Project at all. Yet he joins our list of killer science experiments in August of 1945.
On this day, the team was working at the remote Omega Site facility at the Los Almos National Laboratory in New Mexico. During a critical mass experiment, Daghlian accidentally dropped a tungsten carbide brick onto a plutonium bomb core. Naturally, this was not good. This accident resulted in a critical reaction, but Harry did try to knock the brick away. He was not successful, so he decided to remove the bricks by hand to halt the reaction. Harry managed to stop it, but in the process, he was exposed to a monstrous amount of radiation. He died less than a month later from radiation poisoning.