The Manhattan Project

In partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & HistoryNational Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Hugh Taylor

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Sir Hugh Taylor was a British-born chemist and the first man to create pure, radioactive heavy water.

Taylor, a professor of Chemistry at Princeton University, joined the Kellex Corporation during the Manhattan Project. After working on the heavy water problem in Trail, British Columbia, Taylor helped design the barrier to be used for uranium separation at the K-25 Plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Taylor would remain at Princeton after the war, becoming the world’s foremost expert on catalysis. He was made a Commander of the Belgian Order of Leopold II in 1937 and was knighted by both Pope Pius XII and Queen Elizabeth in 1953 for his services during the Manhattan Project.