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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Ruth Howes

Historian of Science and PhysicistLos Alamos, NM

ExpertWoman Scientist
Ruth Howes Listen to Ruth Howes's Oral History on Voices of the Manhattan Project

Ruth Howes is professor emerita of physics and astronomy at Ball State University and former chair of the physics department at Marquette University with an interest in the history of women physicists.

She has extensively researched and written on the role of female scientists in the Manhattan Project. Howes is the co-author of Their Day in the Sun: Women of the Manhattan Project. Published in 1999 by Temple University Press, the book tells the “hidden story of the contribution of women in the effort to develop the atomic bomb.”

Howes holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her research focus has been on nuclear physics, including the structure of very neutron-rich isotopes of light elements.

She has served as the president of both the American Association of Physics Teachers and the Indiana Academy of Science, as well as a program officer at the National Science Foundation. Howes has a vested interest in improving undergraduate education in physics. 

You can watch an interview with her husband Bob Howes, the son of Manhattan Project veteran Robert I. Howes, here.

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