Lloyd Quarterman

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Lloyd A. Quarterman
Lloyd Quarterman ebony February 1949 p28.jpg
Born(1918-05-31)May 31, 1918
Alma materSt. Augustine's College, Northwestern University
Scientific career
Fieldsgaseous diffusion method of obtaining fissionable materials
InstitutionsManhattan Project, Argonne National Laboratory

Lloyd Albert Quarterman (May 31, 1918 – July 1982) was an American chemist working mainly with fluorine. During the Second World War he worked on the Manhattan Project.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

Born on May 31, 1918, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he later attended St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1943.[3]

After earning his degree, Quarterman was hired to work on the Manhattan Project. As one of the few African Americans to work on the Manhattan Project, Quarterman was chiefly responsible for the design and construction of a special distillation system for purifying large quantities of hydrogen fluoride. This hydrogen fluoride would be used to separate the Uranium isotope U-235 for the construction of the atomic bombs. The U-235 that Quarterman helped accumulate was used to make Little Boy, the uranium bomb that was exploded over Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.[4]

After the war, Quarterman worked at the then newly established Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, Illinois, where he continued to work for over 30 years. At Argonne, Quarterman was an assistant to the associate research scientist and chemist from 1943 to 1949. He assisted with the first nuclear reactor for atomic-powered submarines.[5] Quarterman graduated from Northwestern University with a Master of Science in 1952.[6]


  1. ^ Carey, Charles W. (2006). American Scientists. New York: Facts on File. pp. 294–295. ISBN 978-1-4381-0807-0. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Atom Scientists: Ten Negro Scientists at Argonne Lab Help in Race to Harness Atomic Materials". Ebony magazine. September. 1949. pp. 26–28.
  3. ^ Spangenburg, Ray (2003). African Americans in Science, Math, and Invention. New York: Facts on File. pp. 198–199. ISBN 9781438107745. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  4. ^ Carey, Charles W. (2008). African Americans in Science: an encyclopedia of people and progress. New York: ABC-CLIO, Inc. pp. 294–295. ISBN 978-1-85109-998-6. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  5. ^ Carter Sluby, Patricia (2004). The Inventive Spirit of African Americans: Patented Ingenuity. Connecticut: Praeger Publishers. p. 113. ISBN 0-275-96674-7. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Quarterman, Lloyd Albert 1918–1982 | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2018-11-09.

External sources[edit]