AUTHORMullin, Paul
TITLELouis Slotin Sonata
PUBLISHERPaul Mullin
CITY
DATE PUBLISHED1999
ISBNNo number - Use WorldCat link below
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This two-act, highly fictionalized play traces Louis Slotin’s last nine days, as his body and mind deteriorated from the damage caused by exposure to ionizing radiation. Slotin was one of many nuclear scientists at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory – now known as Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) – in New Mexico in 1946. While performing a routine demonstration of a critical assembly, his hand slipped, resulting in the accidental assembly of two sub-critical masses into a supercritical one that threw off a lethal amount of ionizing radiation. The play’s structure correlates with classical music’s sonata allegro form, which includes the following sections: the exposition; the development, which usually uses some material from the exposition but in a more or less radically altered way; and the recapitulation, in which the material from the exposition returns. The plot imagines Slotin reliving the moment of his accident again and again, slowly coming to terms with both his inevitable death as well as the larger implications of a world forever changed by the danger and power inherent in nuclear technology.


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