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The Manhattan Project
Transcript of The Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project
by: Arianna Leal, Alexis Gonzalez, Adrian Chavez
In the beginning of 1939 german scientist , Albert Einstein wrote to FDR urging him that Germany was planning to develop an atomic bomb. Roosevelt did not take Einstein seriously and decided to leave it alone. After receiving another letter, Roosevelt knew Einstein was no longer messing around. Roosevelt immediately assigned the U.S. Army to develop the bomb.
The Manhattan Project was kept under top secret supervision. The Scientists who worked on the project were kept under strict supervision. Even their telephone calls were being recorded. Every scientist that worked on the project was only told specific information about their work and only their work. Even in the working area they were restricted to call the bomb "The Gadget" or "The Device."
For the workers and scientists, life was not the same at Los Alamos. Most letters written to family from the workers were either never sent or were re-written by Army personnel to keep information about the project and it’s location a secret from the public. All of those who lived off site or who had been laid off were strictly ordered to not talk about anything about the project.
One night, while still dumbfounded about how to develop the bomb, Louis Slotin and Seth Neddermeyer were taking a stroll to clear their heads. Neddermeyer was eating an orange at the time and had squeezed the orange in his hand. This sprung an idea in to the young scientist's mind that would solve their frustration
They also designed both of the bombs ultimately used on Japan in 1945.
Moving towards the end of the project, two types of of trigger systems were made. Gun type Fission and Implosion-type Fission. What makes the bomb create the explosion is because of a mass of U-235, U-238, or Plutonium going super critical. So Gun-type Fission focused on shooting a mass of the metal down a barrel, towards another, to make it go super critical. And the Implosion-type Fission which includes a hollow sphere of the metal, and then explosives around the sphere go off, crushing the metal, and making it go super critical
After the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Allies won the war. The scientists working on the bomb knew of the damage it caused. This is why they were the few who didn't cheer when the Japanese. These men knew that most, if not all, the causalities were innocent civilians. These men knew they were at fault for all the lives lost in the bombing. Everyone is cheering when the Japanese were bombed and had surrenders but the scientists were the only ones who took into account the damage they had caused
We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multiarmed form and says, "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." I suppose we all thought that one way or another."
— J. Robert Oppenheimer