Biography and History

Henry De Wolf Smyth graduated with the Princeton Class of 1918. He is best known as author of the "Smyth Report" (1945), the official government report on the development of the atomic bomb. Smyth had a long and varied career as a physicist, diplomat, instructor, policy maker, and administrator. At Princeton University Smyth was named assistant professor in 1925, associate professor in 1929, and professor in 1936; and in 1935, he was named chairman of the Physics Department. Taking leave from his position, Smyth began work on the Uranium committee of the National Defense Research Committee in 1940, serving as a consultant on the Manhattan Project from 1943 to 1945. Although he returned to Princeton after the war, Smyth left academia to become Commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) from 1949 to 1954, and subsequently served as U.S. Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), from 1961 to 1970.

Source: From the finding aid for C1343

  • Henry De Wolf Smyth Papers. 1898-1988 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C1343

    Consists of selected material by and about Henry De Wolf Smyth, the American physicist and diplomat who figured prominently in the development of atomic energy, the Manhattan Project, and the production of the atomic bomb.