Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

WWII Manhattan Project

             Just before the beginning of World War II, Albert Einstein
             wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Urged by
             Hungarian-born physicists Leo Szilard, Eugene Wingner, and Edward
             Teller, Einstein told Roosevelt about Nazi German efforts to purify
             Uranium-235 which might be used to build an atomic bomb. Shortly after
             that the United States Government began work on the Manhattan Project.
             The Manhattan Project was the code name for the United States effort
             to develop the atomic bomb before the Germans did. "The first
             successful experiments in splitting a uranium atom had been carried
             out in the autumn of 1938 at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in
             Berlin"(Groueff 9) just after Einstein wrote his letter. So the race
             was on. Major General Wilhelm D. Styer called the Manhattan Project
             "the most important job in the war . . . an all-out effort to build an
             atomic bomb."(Groueff 5) It turned out to be the biggest development
             in warfare and science's biggest development this century. The most
             complicated issue to be addressed by the scientists working on the
             Manhattan Project was "the production of ample amounts of 'enriched'
             uranium to sustain a chain reaction."(Outlaw 2) At the time,
             Uranium-235 was hard to extract. Of the Uranium ore mined, only about
             1/500 th of it ended up as Uranium metal. Of the Uranium metal, "the
             fissionable isotope of Uranium (Uranium- 235) is relatively rare,
             occurring in Uranium at a ratio of 1 to 139."(Szasz 15) Separating the
             one part Uranium-235 from the 139 parts Uranium-238 proved to be a
             challenge. "No ordinary chemical extraction could separate the two
             isotopes. Only mechanical methods could effectively separate U-235
             from U-238."(2) Scientists at Columbia University solved this
             difficult problem. A "massive enrichment laboratory/plant"(Outlaw 2)
             was built at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. H. C. Urey,

Essays Related to WWII Manhattan Project