LB492: Blog Post Assignment Week 6

Katie H.
1 min readOct 1, 2020

The readings this week have a thread between them of culture influencing how physics is practiced and the behavior and attitudes of physicists — culture of living and working at Los Alamos during the development of the atom bomb, culture in Traweek’s research on particle physicists, and a (potentially different) culture proposed by Oppenheimer in the new type of physics learning environment that is the Exploratorium. We have been discussing culture throughout the semester, including white supremacy culture, as described by Okun.

Bubble Chamber image from CERN in 1973.

Your prompt for this week: How are the ideas from Okun’s writing on white supremacy culture (from Week 2 readings) manifest in the culture and work of physicists? Cite examples from the readings as evidence for your claims: the Manhattan Project as described by Cole (p50–65) and/or from Traweek’s research on particle physicists working decades later. You may also want to consider how the politics and culture of in the US and world at the times of these writings are connected to the culture of physics.

Please use the tags LB492 and LB492Week6