Emil Konopinski

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Emil John (Jan) Konopinski (December 25, 1911 in Michigan City, Indiana – May 26, 1990 in Bloomington, Indiana) was an American nuclear scientist[1] of Polish origin. His parents were Joseph and Sophia Sniegowska.

He was, with George Uhlenbeck as thesis advisor, a 1934 Ph.D graduate of the University of Michigan, and later a professor of physics at Indiana University. His doctoral students include Eugene Greuling.[2][3] During WW II Konopinski collaborated with Enrico Fermi on the first nuclear reactor at the University of Chicago. He also joined the Manhattan Project to develop the first nuclear weapon (atomic bomb).[4]

He, together with C. Marvin and Edward Teller, showed that a thermonuclear explosion would not ignite the atmosphere and thereby destroy the earth.[5]

An Atomic Energy Commission consultant from 1946 to 1968, he wrote a book entitled The Theory of Beta Radioactivity.


  1. ^ Emil Konopinski, 78, Atomic Bomb Scientist, New York Times
  2. ^ Eugene Greuling at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ "Obituary: Eugene Greuling". Physics Today. 28 (7): 58. July 1975. Bibcode:1975PhT....28g..58.. doi:10.1063/1.3069078. Archived from the original on 2013-09-22. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  4. ^ "Obituary: Emil J. Konopinski". Physics Today. 44 (10): 144. October 1991. Bibcode:1991PhT....44j.144E. doi:10.1063/1.2810306. Archived from the original on 2013-09-22. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  5. ^ Konopinski, E. J; C. Marvin; Edward Teller (1946). Ignition of the Atmosphere with Nuclear Bombs (PDF) (declassified Feb. 1973). Los Alamos National Laboratory. LA-602. Retrieved 2008-11-23.

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