Their Day In the Sun: Women Physicists and the Manhattan Project


Ruth Howes

Ball State University

In the enormous labor shortages produced by World War II, women entered jobs that had previously been closed to them. In particular, women scientists did technical work on all aspects of the Manhattan Project, the research effort that led to the construction of the first atomic bomb, except the military delivery of the weapon. This talk tells their stories and focuses on women physicists who pursued basic research in nuclear physics. It is based on interviews with the women themselves and others who knew them. The story of the growth, and the successes and failures, of the research effort forms a background for the very individual stories of these women scientists.

©Copyright 1999 KSU Department of Physics