Seventy years ago, Ames Laboratory was created by the Atomic Energy Commission to reward to Iowa State University for its work on World War II's Manhattan Project. That work, known as The Ames Project, resulted in the successful development of the most efficient process to produce high-purity uranium metal in large quantities for atomic energy.
The Ames Project developed new methods for both melting and casting uranium metal, making it possible to cast large ingots of the metal and reduce production costs by as much as twenty-fold. This uranium production process is still used today. Ames produced more than 2 million pounds (1,000 tons) of uranium for the Manhattan Project, advancing wartime efforts to uncover the secrets of atomic power and protect national security.
Since its founding, Ames Laboratory has become world-class institution known for its work in materials science, computational chemistry and condensed matter theory. Ames Laboratory:
- Is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's 17 national laboratories
- Employs 450 people, including 260 scientists
- Has an annual budget of $50 million
- Is located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa
To find out more about the Laboratory and its history, check out the links below:
- The Ames Project (1942-1946) - A video detailing our history
- Manhattan Project 50th Anniversary Edition of Insider
- Our History
- Points of Pride
- Anniversary Week events (photos)
- Ames Laboratory celebrates 70 years of science, discovery on Iowa State's campus
- KHOI radio interview with Director Adam Schwartz and scientist Vitalij Pecharsky