Jesse Beams

Jesse Beams (1898-1977) was an American physicist. 

Beams worked on the Manhattan Project through his research on centrifuges.  His ultracentrifuge was used to demonstrate the separation of U-235.  During the war, officials concluded his method was not likely to produce enough enriched uranium in the time needed, and gaseous diffusion was pursued instead.  In later years, the method became the most efficient way to separate uranium isotopes.  

After the war, the centrifuge method was perfected by German scientists in the Soviet Union. Beams continued work on the gas centrifuge program, and worked as a consultant to the AEC even after his retirement from academia in 1969. He is also known for developing a method for a more precise measurement of the gravitational constant G.

Jesse Beams's Timeline

  • 1898 Dec 25th Born in Belle Plaine, Kansas.
  • 1921 Graduated from Fairmount College, Kansas with a B.S. in physics.
  • 1922 Received an M.A. in physics from the University of Wisconsin.

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