J. Ernest Wilkins
Reference; Schomburg Center
After receiving a PH.D. in physics from the University of Chicago at age 19, Wilkins studied mechanical engineering at New York University, taught mathematics at Tuskegee University, and took part in the research that led to the development of the atomic bomb during World War 2. From 1946 to 1970 he a senior mathematician for the Nuclear Development Corporation of America and a physicist with the General Dynamics Corporation. In 1970, Wilkins was appointed Distinguished Professor of Applied Mathematical Physics at Howard University. He is known for developing techniques for measuring the absorption of gamma radiation emitted by the sun and other nuclear sources.
Additional Information; African American mathematician andnuclear scientist, who gained first fame on entering the University of Chicago at age 13, becoming its youngest ever student. His intelligence led to him being referred to as a “negro genius” in the media.
As part of a widely varied and notable career, Wilkins contributed to the Manhattan Project during the Second World War. He also gained fame working in and conducting nuclear physics research in both academia and industry. He wrote numerous scientific papers, served in various important posts, earned several significant awards and helped recruit minority students into the sciences.
Rufus Stokes was an inventor born in Alabama in 1924. He later moved to Illinois, where he worked as a machinist for an incinerator company.
In 1968, Rufus Stokes was granted a patent on an air-purification device to reduce the gas and ash emissions of furnace and powerplant smokestack emissions. The filtered output from the stacks became almost transparent. Stokes tested and demonstrated several models of stack filters, termed the “clean air machine”, in Chicago and elsewhere to show its versatility.