UWM’s planetarium named after physicist, A-bomb worker

That’s not an outright condemnation of Manfred Olson, or his work. It’s just striking to me to find out that the planetarium at my university was named after a guy who happened to work on the Manhattan Project in the 1940s. Heck, he once worked on Geiger counters, which were one of my favorite toys in my youth. Nor do I think that was the only reason they named it after him. But this may deserve further research some day.

According to UWM’s web site, “The Planetarium [located in the UWM Physics Building] was named for Manfred Olson (1905-1966), professor of physics from 1931 to 1963. Olson worked on the development of the atomic bomb at the University of Chicago in 1943, and from 1947 to 1949 was a senior physicist at Los Alamos, New Mexico, where he worked on Geiger counter systems. After retiring from UWM he became director and lecturer at the Planetarium on a part-time basis.”

Hmm. Interesting.


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.