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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

William P. Norris

Associate Bio-ChemistChicago, IL

Oak Ridge, TN
Manhattan Project VeteranScientist

William P. Norris was an associate bio-chemist at the University of Chicago Met Lab. After a stint at the Dow Chemical Company, he joined the Manhattan Project in July 1944.

At the Met Lab Norris was responsible for analyzing the toxicity of different fission products from Oak Ridge. He made several trips to Oak Ridge to collect radioactive isotopes for testing. He recalled, “At that time Oak Ridge had the distinction of being the biggest mud hole in the country…No one in his right mind went there without equipping himself with a pair of boots and a bottle of bourbon. It was really a lot of fun.”

Norris signed the Szilard Petition and later worked in the Division of Biological and Medical Research at Argonne National Laboratory.

William P. Norris's Timeline
1944 Received a Ph.D. in organic biochemistry from the University of Illinois.
1944 Jul1946 Worked on the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory.

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