Manhattan Conspiracy1 Essay

This essay has a total of 1672 words and 6 pages.

Manhattan Conspiracy1

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, at the Trinity test site in Alamogordo, New Mexico.3 The first atomic bomb was
detonated. Small amounts of plutonium made a destructive force equal to 25,000 tons of
TNT. The bomb vaporized the tower where it was dropped from. The bomb reached new heights
by a mushroom cloud that was 41,000 feet high and shock-waves from the bomb were felt from
at least 10,000 feet away from the test site. The blast was also heard or seen from at
least 50 miles away. After the testing, and succession of this first atomic weapon, the
world was changed forever on its ways of battle.3 Now that the bomb that was tested, it
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