Bob Duffield

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Bob Duffield
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Robert Bob Duffield

(1917-10-15)October 15, 1917
Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedDecember 26, 2000(2000-12-26) (aged 83)
Norwood, Colorado, U.S.
Cause of deathLeukemia
CitizenshipUnited States of America
  • B.A. in chemistry
  • Ph.D. in radiochemistry
Alma mater
  • Princeton University
  • University of California
Spouse(s)Priscilla Duffield

Bob Duffield, a chemist was chosen by General Atomic to send their prototype TRIGA reactor to the second Geneva conference using his own car.

Bob Duffield was born October 15th 1917 in Trenton, N.J.


Duffield received his B.A. in chemistry (1940) from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in radiochemistry (1943) from the University of California, Berkeley In September 1943, he married Priscilla Duffield. Between 1943 and 1946 he worked as a chemist on the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos Laboratory and, in 1946, joined the faculty of the University of Illinois as an associate professor of Chemistry and Physics. Duffield succeeded Dr. Albert V. Crewe as director of Argonne National Laboratory, the huge Atomic Energy Commission research facility near Chicago. Between 1956 and 1967 he then headed the chemistry program of the General Atomic Division laboratory of the General Dynamics Corporation. Between 1967 and 1972 he was the director of Argonne National Laboratory. Between 1972 and 1978 he was the researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory.[1] [2]

His research interests included radioactivity and photo-nuclear reactions.[3] [4] [5]


Robert B Duffield patented "Preparation of Oxalates of Metals of Atomic" on February 3rd 1959. [6] [7]


When General Atomic decided to send a prototype reactor to the second Geneva conference on peaceful uses of atomic energy in September 1958, it was Bob Duffield who got it there in working order and on time. "Plutonium-it's warm, it's decaying all the time. They made this tiny piece of it, and it was valuable they didn't dare send it by train. They looked around for the most reliable way to get it there and they chose Bob Duffield to haul it there in his old Oldsmobile," said Brian Dunne. It was Stanley Koutz, Peter Fortescue, Robert Duffield, Ralph Stahl and other experimentalists, technicians, and engineers who made TRIGA into a working reactor in under two years. Is listed as a reference on a paper "Design of a 10 kW Reactor for Isotope Production, Research and Training Purposes"

[8] [9] [10] [11][12] [13] [14] [15]


Duffield died on December 26th 2000 in Norwood, Colorado, after a brief struggle with acute leukemia. [16] [17]


  1. Atomic Heritage Profile Page - Robert B Duffield [1]
  2. Priscilla Duffield page [2]
  3. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists [3]
  4. Physics Today 1956 [4]
  5. American Checmical Society 1967 [5]
  6. Patent Feb 3rd 1959 [6]
  7. News of Science Science 01 Jun 1956: [7]
  8. Project Orion book [8]
  9. European Union Institute [9]
  10. Argonne National Laboratory, 1946-96 [10]
  11. Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports [11]
  12. Universities, National Laboratories, and Man's Environment [12]
  13. IAEA publications [13]
  14. AIP history [14]
  15. Transcript [15]
  16. American Institute of Physics [16]
  17. [17]

External links

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