The Manhattan Project The Plan to Develop the First Nuclear Weapon

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In 1945, America dropped two atomic bombs on Japan killing as many as 220,000 people. But how did the US come to have such destructive weapons before anyone else?

During the first few decades of the twentieth century, the world made huge advances in the understanding of physics. These advances included the discovery of the nucleus, the concept of radiation and the fact that the splitting of a number of atomic nuclei in a chain reaction could lead to a huge release of energy. This is now known as nuclear fission.

Call to Attention of the Nuclear Threat from Germany

In October 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt received a letter from the German mathematician and physicist Albert Einstein. The letter discussed the possibility of making extremely powerful weapons was possible following new research. The use of chain reactions utilizing uranium could create enough energy to cause devastating effect in a weapon form. The letter also urged Roosevelt to act so that the allies had nuclear capabilities before the German’s, who were reportedly working on the development of their own nuclear weapons

http://engineering.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_manhattan_project

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