ORNL History
Oak Ridge National Laboratory marked three quarters of a century as a research institution in 2018.

Along the way, the name Oak Ridge became synonymous with atomic energy and cutting-edge science. Eugene Wigner and Clifford Shull, Wollan's neutron science colleague, received Nobel Prizes. Enrico Fermi Awards, the top Presidential award for science and technology named for ORNL's Manhattan Project pioneer, have gone to six ORNL scientists: Wigner, Weinberg, William Russell, Liane Russell, Alexander Hollaender and Sheldon Datz.

More recently, when U.S. science appeared to be yielding ground to competing nations, ORNL made strategic decisions toward the establishment of state-of-the-art, basic science research facilities such as the Spallation Neutron Source. When scientific computing and computational simulation began to emerge as a critical "third leg of the research stool," the laboratory built a facility fit for the world's largest supercomputer.

It's a sometimes smooth, sometimes twisted evolution of science from World War II to the present, and it can be traced at your fingertips. Take the journey at www.ornl.gov/timeline as ORNL marks 75 years of great science.
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