Ames Laboratory

Ames Laboratory

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Ames Laboratory

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Ames Laboratory is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory located in Ames, Iowa. The Laboratory conducts research into various areas of national concern, including the synthesis and study of new materials, energy resources, high-speed computer design, and environmental cleanup and restoration. It is located on the campus of Iowa State University. It is operated for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC02-07CH11358.



Ames Laboratory was formally established in 1947 by the United States Atomic Energy Commission as a result of the Ames Project's successful development of the most efficient process, the Ames Process, to produce high-purity uranium metal in large quantities for the Manhattan Project. In 1942, Iowa State College's Frank Spedding, an expert in the chemistry of rare earths, agreed to set up and direct a chemical research and development program to accompany the Manhattan Project's existing physics program. Its purpose was to produce high purity uranium from uranium ores. Harley Wilhelm developed new methods for both reducing and casting uranium metal, making it possible to cast large ingots of the metal and reduce production costs by as much as twentyfold. About one third (2 tons) of the uranium used in the first self sustaining nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago was provided by this project. The Ames Project produced more than 2 million pounds (1,000 tons) of uranium for the Manhattan Project...
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