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Science & Technology

Mystery cube points to Nazi nuclear program

By T.K. Randall
August 25, 2021 · Comment icon 10 comments

The Allies dismantle the German experimental nuclear pile at Haigerloch. Image Credit: Public Domain
Scientists are close to proving that a cube of uranium was part of Germany's secret WWII nuclear program.
While it was ultimately the United States that succeeded in developing and deploying the world's first atomic bomb, long before the end of World War II the Nazis had been working on their own equivalent program in the hope of using nuclear weapons to claim victory over the Allies.

One of the few surviving relics from this era is what is known as a 'Heisenberg cube' - a block of uranium held at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) that has long been suspected of being a relic from Germany's nuclear program and has been the subject of study for decades.

Now scientists are close to proving the link between the cube and the program while also offering new insight into the nuclear arms race between the United States and Germany.

"The first part of the research was actually to gather as much information as possible," Oregon State University's Brittany Robertson told Vice. "In order to really do nuclear forensics, you need to have some measurements identified that can draw insight into what you're trying to prove."
"In order to have that insight, we had to do a whole lot of reading, both from the history perspective, but also from some of the documents that came out of declassification, or letters getting released and digitized that were exchanged between scientists."

To determine whether the cube really was part of the Nazi nuclear program, researchers conducted radiochrometric dating on it and found that its age was consistent with the expected time period.

Additional efforts are now underway to confirm which German laboratory the cube may have come from as well as to track down specifically where the uranium ore itself originated.

"This is one of the cruxes of my PhD research, and what I really am excited to contribute to the field - to try to examine the geological origin of the material," said Robertson.

"What uranium ore body in the world did Germany, allegedly, get their uranium from?"

Source: | Comments (10)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 3 years ago
Makes me wonder if the Nazi search for ancient technologies was a cover for obtaining uranium.
Comment icon #2 Posted by OverSword 3 years ago
Did not know there was a cube of nazi uranium a mile from me  
Comment icon #3 Posted by DreadLordAvatar 3 years ago
Hail Hydra
Comment icon #4 Posted by quiXilver 3 years ago
Project Paperclip = Nazi's become the core of US Space development, post WW2.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Tom1200 3 years ago
  Nazi uranium cube.  Obvious, really.  
Comment icon #6 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 3 years ago
May have to change your moniker to GlowSword.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Freez1 3 years ago
Is it the 100th monkey syndrome or was Germany on the brink of world domination? It was just a matter of time before they unraveled the mystery and started dropping their nuclear bombs. What did they have? Who took it the USA or Russia? Both more than likely.
Comment icon #8 Posted by jethrofloyd 3 years ago
It's time to start listening Bob Dylan's song Glowin' in the Wind.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Myles 3 years ago
Comment icon #10 Posted by Herr Falukorv 3 years ago
What happened with all these folks working with this in germany??? there must have been alot... How can things like this be a mystery if they had a program or not.. And how far they came in their research.. These guys were brilliant I dont think they went underground after the war and started working in a bakery or became shoe salesmen..

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