The development of atomic bombs under the auspices of the U. S. Army’s Manhattan Project during World War II is considered to be the outstanding news story of the twentieth century. In this book, a physicist and expert on the history of the Project presents a comprehensive overview of this momentous achievement. The first three chapters cover the history of nuclear physics from the discovery of radioactivity to the discovery of fission, and would be ideal for instructors of a sophomore-level “Modern Physics” course. Student-level exercises at the ends of the chapters are accompanied by answers. Chapter 7 covers the physics of first-generation fission weapons at a similar level, again accompanied by exercises and answers. For the interested layman and for non-science students and instructors, the book includes extensive qualitative material on the history, organization, implementation, and results of the Manhattan Project and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing missions. The reader also learns about the legacy of the Project as reflected in the current world stockpiles of nuclear weapons.
In the twentieth century, almost every aspect of science changed: it spread from insular universities to government, industry, and the military; new disciplines emerged, the boundaries between old ones blurred; and a dizzying array of new products and processes changed people's lives. But perhaps the greatest change was science's growth in scale, scope, and cost, as it was transformed from an activity in which small groups or individuals conducted experiments into "Big Science" -- a large-scale enterprise that is carried out by multidisciplinary and multinational groups of researchers, costs enormous sums, demands massive institutions of its own, and often represents a significant fraction of national budgets. These changes have often been ascribed to the Manhattan Project, the allies'project during the Second World War to build the atomic bomb. Established at Los Alamos and several other sites, the Manhattan Project brought together American, British, Canadian, and refugee European scientists to design and build the bombs that ultimately destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. At its height, the project was equivalent in size to the entire American automobile industry, employing 130,000 people and costing a total of $2 billion. Its outcome conferred new prestige to science and scientists, and it is widely deemed responsible for the massive growth and militarization of postwar science. But the Manhattan Project did not represent a radical break in the development of twentieth-century science. According to Jeff Hughes, it accelerated developments already underway. Drawing on recent scholarship, Hughes offers a lively reinterpretation of these epic events and considers the dramatic role the military and industry played in shaping not just the Manhattan Project, but the whole of twentieth-century science.
This invaluable resource offers students a comprehensive overview of the Manhattan Project and the decision to drop the atomic bomb, with more than 80 in-depth articles on a variety of topics and dozens of key primary source documents. Provides an important resource for understanding the decision-making process and programs that led to the successful development of the atomic bomb Offers readers the critical material to understand the controversial decision by President Harry Truman to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Provides an A through Z review of all the key reference content needed to form the complete picture of the Manhattan Project Introduces readers to many of the key primary source documents related to the Manhattan Project and the atomic bomb
A history of the origins and development of the American atomic bomb program during WWII. Begins with the scientific developments of the pre-war years. Details the role of the U.S. government in conducting a secret, nationwide enterprise that took science from the laboratory and into combat with an entirely new type of weapon. Concludes with a discussion of the immediate postwar period, the debate over the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, and the founding of the Atomic Energy Commission. Chapters: the Einstein letter; physics background, 1919-1939; early government support; the atomic bomb and American strategy; and the Manhattan district in peacetime. Illustrated.
How nuclear physics became a global geopolitical game-changer
Author: Bruce Cameron Reed
Publisher: Morgan & Claypool Publishers
In August 1945, two US Army Air Force B-29 bombers each dropped single “atomic bombs” on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Little Boy and Fat Man each exploded with energies equivalent to more than 10,000 tons of conventional explosive. Just seven years later, in October 1952, the Ivy Mike test saw the detonation of America’s first full-scale thermonuclear weapon that achieved a yield over 400 times as much as Little Boy and Fat Man. The invention of nuclear weapons was one of the most stunning scientific and technological developments of the 20th century. Carried out under the auspices of the United States Army’s Manhattan Project, this development had profound immediate and long-term impacts: the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki helped bring World War II to a close, but set the stage for the Cold War, nuclear proliferation, and fear of nuclear annihilation and terrorism. This volume, prepared by an acknowledged expert on the Manhattan Project, gives a concise, fast-paced account of all major aspects of the project at a level accessible to an undergraduate college or advanced high-school student familiar with some basic concepts of energy, atomic structure, and isotopes. The text describes the underlying scientific discoveries that made nuclear weapons possible, how the project was organized, the daunting challenges faced and overcome in obtaining fissile uranium and plutonium and in designing workable bombs, the dramatic Trinity test carried out in the desert of southern New Mexico in July 1945, and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The final chapter surveys current worldwide nuclear weapons deployments, and a bibliography lists sources of published and online information along with numerous links.
The ramifications of the Manhattan Project are still with us to this day. The atomic bombs that came out of it brought an end to the war in the Pacific, but at a heavy loss of life in Japan and the opening of a Pandora's box that has tested international relations. This book traces the history of the Manhattan Project, from the first glimmerings of the possibility of such a catastrophic weapon to the aftermath of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It profiles the architects of the bomb and how they tried to reconcile their personal feelings with their ambition as scientists. It looks at the role of the politicians and it includes first-hand accounts of those who experienced the effects of the bombings.
The Manhattan Project produced the world's first nuclear weapons. The US military later dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, effectively ending World War II. Find out about the people and the science behind the Manhattan Project.
A Documentary History of Nuclear Policies from the Discovery of Fission to the Present
Author: Philip L. Cantelon
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Debate over nuclear policy, whether about nuclear weapons or nuclear energy, most often focuses on issues of the present or the future. The documents collected in The American Atom remind us, however, that the issues involved have a past…We follow the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the 'father of the American bomb,' thorough his letters, observations of those close to the Manhattan Project and testimony to the Atomic Energy Commission. President Dwight Eisenhower's 1953 'Atoms for Peace' speech demonstrates how far back calls for nuclear sanity go, and the listing of nuclear-weapons accidents shows how dangerous it may be to ignore those calls.
The development of nuclear weapons during the Manhattan Project is one of the most significant scientific events of the twentieth century. This revised and updated 3rd edition explores the challenges that faced the scientists and engineers of the Manhattan Project. It gives a clear introduction to fission weapons at the level of an upper-year undergraduate physics student by examining the details of nuclear reactions, their energy release, analytic and numerical models of the fission process, how critical masses can be estimated, how fissile materials are produced, and what factors complicate bomb design. An extensive list of references and a number of exercises for self-study are included. Links are given to several freely-available spread sheets which users can use to run many of the calculations for themselves.
From the Scientific Revolution to the Present, Third Edition
Author: Andrew Ede
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
A History of Science in Society is a concise overview that introduces complex ideas in a non-technical fashion. Ede and Cormack trace the history of the changing place of science in society and explore the link between the pursuit of knowledge and the desire to make that knowledge useful. Volume II covers from the Scientific Revolution until the present day. New topics in this edition include science and the corporate world, the regulation of science and technology, and climate change. New "Connections" features provide in-depth exploration of the ways science and society interconnect. The text is accompanied by 38 colour maps and diagrams, and 4 colour plates highlighting key concepts and events. Essay questions, chapter timelines, a further readings section, and an index provide additional support for students. A companion reader edited by the authors, A History of Science in Society: A Reader, is also available.