Joseph Laws McKibben

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Joseph L. McKibben
Born1912 (2022-09-26UTC08:26:44)
Died2001 (aged 88–89)
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin
Scientific career

Joseph Laws McKibben (1912 – 2001) was an American physicist and engineer who worked with J. Robert Oppenheimer as a group leader on the Manhattan Project.[2] He personally witnessed the Trinity test and flipped the switch that set off the atomic bomb at Trinity.[3] McKibben, motivated by his daughter Karan's paralysed hands due to polio, also invented the Air Muscle in 1957.[4][5]

He was born in 1912 in Missouri. He died in 2001 in Los Alamos, aged 89.[6]


  1. ^ "ABQjournal: Trinity 50 Years Later".
  2. ^ "Manhattan District History, Project Y, The Los Alamos Project" (PDF). U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information.
  3. ^ "Joe McKibben, Scientist, Trinity Site, Los Alamos, NM, Manhattan Project Veteran, Scientist, Trinity Test Eyewitness". Atomic Heritage Foundation.
  4. ^ Gurstelle, William (21 May 2015). "Making a Simple Air Muscle - A father's love inspired this A-bomb maker to invent a pneumatic actuator that's used in robots today". Makezine. Santa Rosa, California, USA: Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  5. ^ Gurstelle, William (1 Feb 2017). ReMaking History, Volume 3: Makers of the Modern World. Canada: Maker Media, Inc., 1160. p. Chapter 9, Joseph McKibben and the Air Muscle. ISBN 9781680450682.
  6. ^ "Joseph Laws McKibben".

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