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Manhattan Project

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Manhattan Project

Thesis: The research for the first Atomic bomb was done in the United States, by a group of the best scientists; this research was given the name of "The Manhattan Project". On Monday July 16th, 1945, a countdown for the detonation of the first atomic bomb took place near Los Alamos, New Mexico. This atomic bomb testing would forever change the meaning of war. As the atomic bomb was detonated it sent shock-waves all over the world. There was endless research done on the bomb in the United States. The research was called "The Manhattan Engineer District Project" but it was more commonly known as "The Manhattan Project."1 The Manhattan Project was brought by fear of Germany and it's atomic research. On account of the fear of Germany the United States took action upon testing their own atomic bomb. Once the bomb was tested, the United States had to decide whether it should be used and if so, where? Then there was the process of dropping the bomb. The Manhattan Project was overall one of the highest and most significant projects ever done in the United States.2 The United States government was shocked by the news of German scientists discovering nuclear fission. The news came to the United States from Albert Einstein. Einstein found out the nuclear fission information from a German physicist named Leo Szilard. He then told it to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and urged him to start an investment toward atomic research. 3The research would then help construct an atomic weapon of mass destruction. Roosevelt was not especially concerned about investing in atomic weapon research because he didn't plan on getting involved in the War. When Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, Roosevelt entered the war and sent significant funds to the construction of the atomic weapon. Roosevelt speeded up the process of research by having General Groves setup a committee of the brightest minds from all around the world. Because most of the work done on research of the bomb was done in the Manhattan District of New York, at the US Army Corps of Engineers, the name given to the lay out was "The Manhattan Project".3 The man that General Grooves chose to head the Manhattan project was Robert J. Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer was a Jewish born child who was raised in Manhattan. Oppenheimer went to Harvard University to complete a four-year chemistry program in three years. After Harvard, Oppenheimer went to Cambridge University to get a degree in Subatomic Physics. Then he went to teach at Berkley University.4 Another main person in the research project was Enrico Fermi. Fermi was a graduate of the University of Pisa, where he received his Ph.D. Fermi then went to the University of Rome teaching chemistry and biology. Fermi played a major role in the development of the bomb by creating a sustained nuclear fission chain reaction, which was critical to making the atomic bomb.4 Richard Feyman was another scientist which worked on the atomic bomb. Feyman graduated from Princeton where he excelled in physics and other scientific studies. Feyman's big duty on the Manhattan Project was to break big problems into smaller easier to do problems.4 The Manhattan Project, also had to have facilities for the research and testing of the atomic bomb. Some of the facilities built by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers included: power stations, factories, steel works, hospitals, laboratories, and housing for everybody that worked on the project.. Other facilities that were built for the construction of the bomb were plants to make the radioactive material needed to construct the bomb. Oak Ridge, Tennessee was used to make uranium which was used as an explosive to react with plutonium. The plutonium itself was made in Hanford, Washington.5 To make this explosion possible, a piece of uranium was fired at another piece of uranium to make the critical mass that was needed for an explosion. Critical mass is the exact amount of fissionable material needed to maintain a fission chain reaction. Once Critical mass was obtained it compressed Plutonium and when the Plutonium was compressed enough, atoms from plutonium were split and it made an explosive bomb that could destroy a medium sized city.3 Security was tight on the Los Alamos site because there was fear that bomb secrets would be spread outside of the work place. There were many people that worked on the bomb that didn't even know they were working on it, they just thought it to be another regular government job. The workers that were there could not use their given names outside of the Los Alamos base. Any mail that was sent was to be read before delivered and vise versa.5 The creation of the bomb that was believed to work and now only needed to be tested The Manhattan Project was the most funded project done up to this time, so it had to be tested to see if the scientific research had gone to good use. Testing for the first atomic weapon took place on July 16, 1945, ...

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