The Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was and is still one of the most secretive projects ever created in United States history. The purpose of the Manhattan Project was simple: to build; test; and unleash its power if necessary. Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves were the two men put in charge of this mission. These two men along with the top scientists from around the country were brought together to construct the most deadliest thing known to man.
The project originated in the Pentagon in 1942 when General Groves was told, by the White House, he was to lead the Manhattan Project.
World War II had already been raged for three years when the Nazis, after being victorious in Europe, declared war on the United States. This was nine months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In September of that year, Groves, met with Leo Szilard and asked him if making the atomic bomb was possible. Leo told him how an atomic bomb would work, but also that it is impossible to build. General Groves only wanted to hear that an atomic bomb was conceivable in theory and then he knew to start the project.
In October of 1942 Groves went to California to meet with Robert Oppenheimer, one of the most brilliant scientists in the country.
Groves informed Oppenheimer that he had been selected to lead the expedition on trying to invent the atomic bomb. Oppenheimer immediately started preparing by telling Groves that they needed an isolated area with one ringmaster(Oppenheimer).
General Groves was in charge of the military or security part of the project, while Oppenheimer was in charge of the organization of the scientists and ideas. At times, Oppenhiemer and Grooves had some nasty arguments over policies. Even though Groves was the one who reported to Washington, Oppenheimer had more power and Groves was aware of this. If they had a disagreement, Oppenheimer would threaten to leave the project and take his scientists with him.
Groves knew if this occurred then the project would never be finished. So, Grooves most always ended up agreeing or letting Oppenheimer do what ever he wanted to do.
In April of 1943, this isolated area was being build in Las Alamos, New Mexico. The borders consisted of barbed wire fence accompanied by guard dogs. Many laboratories, storage buildings, shelters, hospitals, dining halls, and other buildings were found inside these borders, also. One thing that was not found inside these borders though was women, not even wives of the scientists.
No scientist was allowed to talk to anyone outside the camp about what they see, hear, taste, or even smell. Everything they knew belonged to the army now. Everything they knew from here on was highly confidential. There job was to create the atomic bomb and to do nothing else but that. They were to refer to bomb as the gadget or devise for security reasons. The scientists were given 19 months to complete their mission.
Most of them complained that it could not be done, that it was not enough time.
Under the leadership of Oppenheimer the work and research began. After several days, their work got them no where. They were faced with the problems such as weight, velocity, and detonation. To make such a bomb they needed materials heaving enough to weight tip the biggest cranes in the world. Late one night, while eating an orange and talking to another scientist, Seth Neddermeyer (a scientist) thought of an idea called implosion.
He got the idea from the orange he was eating. This was probably the one idea that the atomic bomb is centered around. Without implosion, the atomic bomb could not be created. When he squeezed the orange, juice squirted out or an outwards explosion. If you can reverse this process, then the explosion goes in creating a even bigger force. This theory applies to Plutonium.
Implosion occurs causing a chain reaction which in return causes an outwards explosion. If an inwards explosion occurred the Plutonium atoms would split apart creating the biggest explosion known to man. The problem was now creating an inward explosion.
By this time, turmoil started to arise inside the camp. Many scientists began complaining about the drastic security measures .