Stan Frankel

Physicist, Deceased Person

1919 – 1978


Who was Stan Frankel?

Stanley Phillips "Stan" Frankel was an American computer scientist. He was born in Los Angeles, attended graduate school at the University of Rochester, received his PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and began his career as a post-doc student under J. Robert Oppenheimer at University of California, Berkeley in 1942. Frankel helped develop computational techniques used in the nuclear research taking place at the time. He joined the theoretical division of the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos in 1943. While there, he organized teams of persons using electromechanical calculators to divide the massive calculations required for the project into manageable assembly line groups. Even that proved too slow, and Frankel turned to IBM tabulating machines to help process the numbers. This research led to his interest in the then-dawning field of digital computers. In August 1945, Frankel and Nick Metropolis traveled to the Moore School of Engineering in Pennsylvania to learn how to program the ENIAC computer. That fall they helped design a calculation that would determine the likelihood of being able to develop a fusion weapon. Edward Teller used the ENIAC results to prepare a report in the spring of 1946 that answered this question in the affirmative.

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  • United States of America
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Rochester
  • Librascope
May 1, 1978

on July 23, 2013


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