In the first decades of the 20th century, physics was revolutionised with developments in the understanding of the nature of atoms.
The Manhattan Project This once classified photograph features the first atomic bomb — a weapon that atomic scientists had nicknamed "Gadget. Fears soon spread over the possibility of Nazi scientists utilizing that energy to produce a bomb capable of unspeakable destruction.
They agreed that the President must be informed of the dangers of atomic technology in the hands of the Axis powers. Fermi traveled to Washington in March to express his concerns to government officials. But few shared his uneasiness.
Leaving nothing to chance, Los Alamos atomic scientists conducted a pre-test test in May to check the monitoring instruments. A ton bomb was exploded some yards from the Trinity site where Gadget would be detonated a few weeks later.
Einstein penned a letter to President Roosevelt urging the development of an atomic research program later that year. Roosevelt saw neither the necessity nor the utility for such a project, but agreed to proceed slowly. In latethe American effort to design and build an atomic bomb received its code name — the Manhattan Project.
At first the research was based at only a few universities — Columbia University, the University of Chicago and the University of California at Berkeley. A breakthrough occurred in December when Fermi led a group of physicists to produce the first controlled nuclear chain reaction under the grandstands of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago.
Enrico Fermi, a physicist who left fascist Italy for America, encouraged the U. The result was the top-secret "Manhattan Project. The main assembly plant was built at Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Robert Oppenheimer was put in charge of putting the pieces together at Los Alamos. The Manhattan Project employed overAmericans. Neither the Germans nor the Japanese could learn of the project.
Roosevelt and Churchill also agreed that Stalin would be kept in the dark. Consequently, there was no public awareness or debate. Although the Axis powers remained unaware of the efforts at Los Alamos, American leaders later learned that a Soviet spy named Klaus Fuchs had penetrated the inner circle of scientists.
This crater in the Nevada desert was created by a kiloton nuclear bomb buried feet beneath the surface. It is the result of a test investigating whether nuclear weapons could be used to excavate canals and harbors.
By the summer ofOppenheimer was ready to test the first bomb. The device was affixed to a foot tower and discharged just before dawn. No one was properly prepared for the result.
A blinding flash visible for miles lit up the morning sky. A mushroom cloud reached 40, feet, blowing out windows of civilian homes up to miles away. When the cloud returned to earth it created a half-mile wide crater metamorphosing sand into glass.
A bogus cover-up story was quickly released, explaining that a huge ammunition dump had just exploded in the desert. Soon word reached President Truman in Potsdam, Germany that the project was successful. The world had entered the nuclear age. Fifty Years From Trinity The Seattle Times has created one of the definitive sites examining the development of the atomic bomb.
But was it worth the environmental and financial costs? This massive site provides loads of information to help you reach your own conclusions. The Costs of the Manhattan Project This concise website details exactly how much money was spent on the development of the atomic bomb during the Manhattan Project, and exactly where that money was spent.
The average cost of an atomic bomb during the World War II era: The Manhattan Project Here is a month-by-month detailed account of the status of the atomic bomb leading up to the detonation of "Gadget" in the deserts of Alamogordo, New Mexico in July, Images of the important figures, bomb-manufacturing plants, and explosions make this site a to see.Atomic Diplomacy.
Atomic diplomacy refers to attempts to use the threat of nuclear warfare to achieve diplomatic goals. After the first successful test of the atomic bomb in , U.S. officials immediately considered the potential non-military benefits that could be derived from the American nuclear monopoly.
Throughout history, improperly used science has posed a great threat to society. With the development of the atomic bomb, science has unleashed the means to destroy the world and burdened future generations with its destructive presence.
The Atomic Archive explores the complex history surrounding the invention of the atomic bomb. Follow a timeline that takes you down the path of our nuclear past to the present. Read biographies of A-bomb father Robert Oppenheimer and Enrico Fermi's dispassionate account of the Trinity Test.
Examine maps of the damage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and summaries of arms-control treaties. History leading to the creation of the atomic bomb. Atomic science began many centuries ago with experimenting and probing into the nature and structure of matter. History of nuclear weapons.
Jump to navigation Jump to search. A At the first major theoretical conference on the development of an atomic bomb hosted by J. Robert Oppenheimer at the University of California, ed., Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U. S.
Nuclear Weapons Since (Brookings Institution Press, ). On August 9, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, where 80, Japanese people perished. On August 14, , the Japanese surrendered. Critics have charged that Truman's decision was a barbaric act that brought negative long-term consequences to the United States.