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Enrico Fermi: Atomic Energy, 9147

War Work

Elsewhere, the danger of war was increasing, the German scientists had experience with nuclear fission, and while weapon applications of this phenomenon were remote, they existed. Such considerations led the Columbia physicists to enlist the help of Albert Einstein to inform the United States government of developments. President Roosevelt reacted by establishing an Advisory Committee on Uranium (the Uranium Committee).

By then, Britain and its colonies were at war with Germany and, six months later, with Italy, too. Fermi's research became "war work" upon the United States entering the war on December 8, 1941. He also automatically became an "enemy alien" with the complications that entailed.

On October 12, 1942 the "enemy" status was lifted for Italians; Fermi became a citizen of the United States on July 11, 1944.