California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology

Sloan Laboratory, built on the site of the old High Voltage Research Laboratory, where many Caltech physicists did their research. Photo courtesy of Antony-22 via Wikimedia Commons.

Before the war, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) was a leading university in the fields of particle and nuclear physics. It was especially known for its experimental physicists. Many scientists who had important roles on the Manhattan Project were affiliated with Caltech, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Tolman, and Robert Bacher. In addition, a group working at Caltech under Charles Lauritsen directly assisted in the bomb-building effort, providing help manufacturing detonators that would be used in the atomic bombs.