FAMEPedia:Today's featured article/May 30, 2021

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Burlington House, meeting place of the committee
Burlington House, meeting place of the committee

The MAUD Committee was a British scientific working group formed during the Second World War to determine if an atomic bomb was feasible. The name came from a reference by Danish physicist Niels Bohr to his housekeeper, Maud Ray. The committee was founded in response to the Frisch–Peierls memorandum, which argued that a small sphere of pure uranium-235 could have the explosive power of thousands of tons of TNT. Its chairman was George Thomson and it met at Burlington House (pictured). Uranium enrichment, fissile materials, and the design of nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons were examined. The research culminated in two reports, known collectively as the MAUD Report. In response, the British created a nuclear weapons project. The report was made available to the United States, where it energised the American effort, which eventually became the Manhattan Project; it was also handed to the Soviet Union by its atomic spies, helping start the Soviet atomic bomb project. (Full article...)