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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Thoma Mees van’t Hoff Snyder (1916-1999) was an American nuclear physicist.

Snyder was born in Baltimore. He was accepted directly into the Ph.D. program in physics at Johns Hopkins and became a professor at Princeton University at the age of 24. His early work include the measurement of neutron capture of uranium in graphite, the “moderator” which would later be used in Manhattan Project reactors.

In 1943, Snyder was recruited by Edward Teller and Edwin McMillan to work on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos. During his time there, Snyder  researched the neutron emission of Uranium-235. He was present at the Trinity Test on July 16, 1945, and created a telemetering system to measure the explosion rate during the test.

After the war, Snyder went to work at the General Electric Research Laboratory and later at the Vallecitos Atomic Laboratory. His work included the development of nuclear power breeder reactors and reactors for nuclear-powered submarines. He was also an advisor to the Atomic Energy Commission and served as chairman of the AEC Reactor Physics Planning Group.

Thoma Snyder died on May 24, 1999 in Santa Cruz, California.

Thoma M. Snyder's Timeline
1916 Born in Baltimore.
1940 Earned a Ph.D. in physics from Johns Hopkins University.
19431945 Worked on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos.
1999 May 24th Died in Santa Fe, California.

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