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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Bert Tolbert joined the Manhattan Project in 1944 while completing his PhD in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. In April, Tolbert began working for the Radiation Laboratory under E.O. Lawrence and was tasked with separating and enriching small samples of uranium-235 that were used by physicists for various experiments.

Tolbert and his team of chemists eventually developed a machine for separating uranium that was so efficient it was shipped down to Oak Ridge to be tested at the Y-12 Facility. After the War, Tolbert accepted a position as Professor of Chemistry at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Bert Tolbert's Timeline
1921 Jan 15th Born in Twin Falls, Idaho.
1942 Received B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.
1944 Received Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.
1944 Apr Joined the Manhattan Project at Berkeley's Radiation Laboratory.
1945 Traveled to Oak Ridge National Laboratories to help with the construction of a machine that separated uranium from sample material.
19501957 Appointed Assistant Director of the Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley.

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