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.
Author: Bruce Cameron Reed
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2010-10-05
The development of nuclear weapons during the Manhattan Project is one of the most significant scientific events of the twentieth century. This book, prepared by a gifted teacher of physics, explores the challenges that faced the members of the Manhattan project. In doing so it gives a clear introduction to fission weapons at the level of an upper-level undergraduate physics student. Details of nuclear reactions, their energy release, the fission process, how critical masses can be estimated, how fissile materials are produced, and what factors complicate bomb design are covered. An extensive list of references and a number of problems for self-study are included. Links are given to several spreadsheets with which users can run many of the calculations for themselves.
Author: B. Cameron Reed
Publisher: Morgan & Claypool Publishers
Release Date: 2017-05-22
The development of nuclear weapons by the Manhattan Project during World War II was one of the most dramatic scientific/technological episodes in human history. This book, prepared by a recognized expert on the Manhattan Project, offers a concise survey of the essential physics concepts underlying fission weapons. The text describes the energetics and timescales of fast-neutron chain reactions, why only certain isotopes of uranium and plutonium are suitable for use in fission weapons, how critical mass and bomb yield can be estimated, how the efficiency of nuclear weapons can be enhanced, how the fissile forms of uranium and plutonium were obtained, some of the design details of the 'Little Boy' and 'Fat Man' bombs, and some of the thermal, shock, and radiation effects of nuclear weapons. Calculation exercises are provided, and a Bibliography lists authoritative print and online sources of information for readers who wish to pursue more detailed study of this fascinating topic.
Author: Ruth H. Howes
Publisher: Temple University Press
Release Date: 2003-05-22
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
"Authors Ruth H. Howes and Caroline L. Herzenberg discuss the various scientific problems the women helped to solve as well as the discrimination they faced in their work. Their abrupt recruitment for the war effort and anecdotes of everyday life in the clandestine, improvised communities, what happened to the women after the war, and their present attitudes toward the work they did on the bomb are also included."--Jacket.
Author: Bruce Cameron Reed
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2013-10-16
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.
Author: Jeff A. Hughes
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2002
The Manhattan Project, the allies' project during the Second World War to build the atomic bomb, did not represent a radical break in the development of twentieth-century science but rather an acceleration of developments already underway, according to Jeff Huges. 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.
Author: Richard Rhodes
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-09-18
Twenty-five years after its initial publication, The Making of the Atomic Bomb remains the definitive history of nuclear weapons and the Manhattan Project. From the turn-of-the-century discovery of nuclear energy to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan, Richard Rhodes’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book details the science, the people, and the socio-political realities that led to the development of the atomic bomb. This sweeping account begins in the 19th century, with the discovery of nuclear fission, and continues to World War Two and the Americans’ race to beat Hitler’s Nazis. That competition launched the Manhattan Project and the nearly overnight construction of a vast military-industrial complex that culminated in the fateful dropping of the first bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Reading like a character-driven suspense novel, the book introduces the players in this saga of physics, politics, and human psychology—from FDR and Einstein to the visionary scientists who pioneered quantum theory and the application of thermonuclear fission, including Planck, Szilard, Bohr, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Teller, Meitner, von Neumann, and Lawrence. From nuclear power’s earliest foreshadowing in the work of H.G. Wells to the bright glare of Trinity at Alamogordo and the arms race of the Cold War, this dread invention forever changed the course of human history, and The Making of The Atomic Bomb provides a panoramic backdrop for that story. Richard Rhodes’s ability to craft compelling biographical portraits is matched only by his rigorous scholarship. Told in rich human, political, and scientific detail that any reader can follow, The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a thought-provoking and masterful work.
Author: General Leslie R. Groves
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Release Date: 2009-06-16
General Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer were the two men chiefly responsible for the building of the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos, code name "The Manhattan Project." As the ranking military officer in charge of marshalling men and material for what was to be the most ambitious, expensive engineering feat in history, it was General Groves who hired Oppenheimer (with knowledge of his left-wing past), planned facilities that would extract the necessary enriched uranium, and saw to it that nothing interfered with the accelerated research and swift assembly of the weapon.This is his story of the political, logistical, and personal problems of this enormous undertaking which involved foreign governments, sensitive issues of press censorship, the construction of huge plants at Hanford and Oak Ridge, and a race to build the bomb before the Nazis got wind of it. The role of groves in the Manhattan Project has always been controversial. In his new introduction the noted physicist Edward Teller, who was there at Los Alamos, candidly assesses the general's contributions—and Oppenheimer's—while reflecting on the awesome legacy of their work.
During World War II, Franklin D.Roosevelt and Winston Churchill pooled their nations' resources in the race to beat the Germans to the secret of the atomic bomb. This book tells the story of the British scientists who journeyed to Los Alamos to help develop the world's first nuclear weapons.
Author: Peter Bacon Hales
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Release Date: 1999-01-01
Code-named the Manhattan Project, the detailed plans for developing an atomic bomb were impelled by urgency and shrouded in secrecy. This book tells the story of the project's three key sites: Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Hanford, Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Author: Jim Baggott
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Release Date: 2011-08-15
An epic story of science and technology at the very limits of human understanding: the monumental race to build the first atomic weapons. Rich in personality, action, confrontation, and deception, The First War of Physics is the first fully realized popular account of the race to build humankind's most destructive weapon. The book draws on declassified material, such as MI6's Farm Hall transcripts, coded soviet messages cracked by American cryptographers in the Venona project, and interpretations by Russian scholars of documents from the soviet archives. Jim Baggott weaves these threads into a dramatic narrative that spans ten historic years, from the discovery of nuclear fission in 1939 to the aftermath of 'Joe-1,’ August 1949's first Soviet atomic bomb test. Why did physicists persist in developing the atomic bomb, despite the devastation that it could bring? Why, despite having a clear head start, did Hitler's physicists fail? Could the soviets have developed the bomb without spies like Klaus Fuchs or Donald Maclean? Did the allies really plot to assassinate a key member of the German bomb program? Did the physicists knowingly inspire the arms race? The First War of Physics is a grand and frightening story of scientific ambition, intrigue, and genius: a tale barely believable as fiction, which just happens to be historical fact.
Author: Cynthia C. Kelly
Publisher: World Scientific
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
2004 marked the centennial of the birth of J Robert Oppenheimer, and brought historians and scholars, former students, nuclear physicists, and politicians together to celebrate this event. Oppenheimer's life and work became central to 20th century history as he spearheaded the development of the atomic bomb that ended World War II. This book provides a spectrum of interpretations of Oppenheimer's life and scientific achievements. It approaches the extraordinary scientist and teacher from many perspectives, chronicling the years from his boyhood through his role as director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and afterwards. The book also discusses Oppenheimer's connection to New Mexico, which hosted two of the Manhattan Project's most crucial sites, and addresses his lasting impact on contemporary science, international politics, and the postwar age.
Author: James P. Delgado
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2011-12-20
The obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 brought the world to a stand still. This unimaginable shock confirmed to the world that the race to develop a working atomic weapon during World War II had been won by the American-led international effort. Horrific and controversial even today, these first uses of the atomic bomb had intense ramifications not only on the continued development of the bomb, but also on politics and popular culture. As well as the technological development, historian James Delgado also examines how the US Army Air Force had to develop the capacity to deliver the weapons, and examines the sites where development and testing took place, in order to give a comprehensive history of the dawning of the nuclear age.
Author: Francis George Gosling
Publisher: DIANE Publishing
Release Date: 1999
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.