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Jane Puckett and the Manhattan Project

We may not often hear stories of women’s roles during the Manhattan Project. One notable woman named Jane Puckett had a great influence on the future atomic bomb. 

Women were not allowed to enroll in the engineering program at the University of Tennessee in the 1940s, so Jane graduated with a degree in business statistics. 

Jane was also very accomplished athletically. She founded a Swim Club and even ended up in the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 in the category of swim/dive. 

Upon graduating, Jane was offered a position at the Y-12 laboratories in Oak Ridge of a mathematician-statistician. Jane’s top secret job was to collect data and create equations to separate uranium-235 from natural uranium. 

Her statistical background allowed her to lead the production of the formula for uranium-235 separation, which was the fissile material for the “Little Boy,” an atomic bomb.

This was a major win for the creation of atomic bombs. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about Jane’s impact in the book titled, “The Girls of Atomic City” written by Denise Kiernan.