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Chicago ushers in the Atomic Age — and its cake

In 1942, on a squash court in Hyde Park, Enrico Fermi and his colleagues cooked up an “atomic pile,” a roughly spherical stack of graphite bricks layered with uranium. With this pile, on Dec. 2, the physicists achieved the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, an event that led to the atomic bomb and nuclear energy.

At some point after that, an enterprising Chicago baker dubbed his latest layered creation the “atomic cake.”