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Memorable Manitobans: Louis Slotin (1910-1946)


Born in Winnipeg’s North End, he attended St. John’s Technical High School and the University of Manitoba, winning the gold medal in chemistry and physics and completing an MSc in 1933. He received his PhD in biochemistry from London University in 1936. He was also an amateur boxer. Slotin became a research associate at the University of Chicago, working on an atom-smashing cyclotron. He began work in the Metallurgical Laboratory of the Manhatten Project in Chicago in 1942, and moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico in December 1944. He became an expert at hand-assembling the core of atomic bombs, and it was an accident during the process of assembly that lead to his death. In order to save his colleagues, he terminated a connection in a bomb core, and as a result exposed himself to a fatal dose of radiation. He died on 30 May 1946. A Winnipeg plaque and park is named in his honour.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Dr. Louis Slotin Memorial Park and Plaque (Winnipeg)

The Accident by Dexter Masters (1955).

“Dr. Louis Slotin and ‘The Invisible Killer’” by Martin Zeilig, The Beaver, volume 75, number 4 (August-September 1995), pages 20-26.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 September 2012

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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