AUTHORLanda, Edward R. / Nimmo, John R.
TITLEThe Life and Scientific Contributions of Lyman J. Briggs
PERIODICAL TITLESoil Science Society of America Journal
DATE PUBLISHED2003
VOLUME NUMBER67
ISSUE NUMBER3
PAGE NUMBERS681-693
ISSN0361-5995
Web Access
Available online from Soil Science Society of America Journal   (fee or subscription required)


This article examines the life of Lyman J. Briggs, an early leader of the top secret S-1 committee that evolved into the Manhattan Project. At the beginning, the article follows Briggs' early work on soil for the Bureau of Soils (BOS), and examines his relationship with some of his colleagues at BOS. Then it discusses his work during World War I for the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) on several projects including a wind tunnel for the Army Air Service. He went on to become the director of the NBS, and as the nation’s chief scientist he became the liaison between the government and the scientists during the early work on the atomic bomb beginning in 1939. Briggs' leadership role in that effort was phased out by the middle of 1942. The article closes with Briggs' post-World War II work on soil and on the physics of the curveball in baseball. It is supported by extensive references.


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