Jesse Beams, no date.

Jesse Beams

Physics professor Jesse Beams was one of five scientists appointed by the National Research Council to study uranium fission before the United States entered World War II. After Pearl Harbor the project, code named "Manhattan," developed into a research network across the country. At Virginia, Beam used an ultracentrifuge, which worked on the same principle as a cream separator, to isolate Uranium-235 from U-238 and U-234. Beams succeeded though his method was not used for the actual manufacture of atomic bombs.

Jesse Beams. Spiral notebook. ca. 1940-41.

Jesse Beams's notebook, ca. 1940-41.

On this page of notes, Beams summarizes three types of ultracentrifuging, including the “straight centrifuging method in which the materials enter and leave the machine in a manner similar to that of the cream separator.”

Typed letter, signed. O Cultler Shepherd to Jesse Beams. 1941 May 17.

Typed letter, signed, from O. Cutler Shepherd to Jesse Beams, 17 May 1941.