Ever needed to separate uranium metal into the U-235 and U-238 isotopes via gaseous diffusion? Okay, probably not something you've needed to do in your day-to-day routine, but this method was an important part of a little American science project called the Manhattan Project. The specific method was one of many achievements by Chinese-American Chien-Shiung Wu, physicist extraordinaire. Born on May 31, 1912 in Shang Hai, Wu excelled at her schooling in her native China and then moved to America to further her education. Her achievements through research would soon include such things as improved Geiger counters and experiments proving the Law of Conservation of Parity as invalid. Wu was a pioneer in her chosen field, becoming the first Chinese-American to be elected into the US National Academy of Sciences, the first female instructor in the Princeton Physics Department, and the first woman to become president of the American Physical Society.
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This entry is part of MPL's National Women's History Month.