The Manhattan Project. By David Lemons. What was the Manhattan Project?.
The Manhattan Project
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The Manhattan Project was the code name given to a series of experiments and discoveries in physics which led to the creation of the atomic bomb in WWII. These experiments were done by European physicists building on the theories of Neils Bohr and Albert Einstein.
Robert OppenheimerDirector of Manhattan Project Los Alamos Testing Site
How did this impact WWII?
This impacted the war because it was from these experiments that the idea for an atomic bomb came. This happened from scientists in Germany successfully split a uranium atom by bombarding it with neutrons. A man named Leo Szilard, from the University of Chicago, recognized that as a result of this nuclear fission it could create enough radioactive material which would cause a nuclear explosion.
Albert Einstein, who was told about this by Szilard, wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt warning him that the Nazis might develop an atomic bomb. This led to testing of the atomic bomb. This also led to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. On August 14, 1945 Japan surrendered.
How has this been portrayed by history?
The conflict over the making of the atomic bomb is very controversial. Many people think that it was not necessary and that it just creates a stronger possibility for a nuclear warfare. Others believe that it was necessary and that the Japanese wouldn’t have surrendered and we would have lost many more of our troops had we not created the bomb.