African-American Pioneers in Science

African-American Scientists - Physicists

Physics is the science of matter and energy and the interactions between them. Physics encompasses several fields including thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, acoustics and optics.


Early African-American physicists -

  • Edward Alexander Bouchet (1852 - 1918) was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in physics
  • Physicist Elmer Samuel Imes(1883 - 1941) pioneered the use of infrared spectroscopy to study the molecular structure of matter.
  • Theoretical physicist J. Ernest Wilkins Jr (1923 - 2011) worked on the U.S. Manhattan Project developing mathematical equations relating to the splitting of uranium atoms (used to produce nuclear energy).

For more information on the pioneering African-American physicists mentioned above, click on their photo below.



Also be sure to visit our African-American Pioneers in Science Book Store for more information on all the African-American scientists profiled on this site.