The Manhattan Project
“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” was what Robert Oppenheimer, one of the makers of the nuclear bomb, said after successfully exploding a bomb (Jinarājadāsa). There are few events that forever change human history such as the invention of fire and the Manhattan Project’s creation is one of these. The Manhattan Project’s atomic bomb was the most influential invention of the 20th century because it forever changed Japan, started a worldwide race for nuclear bombs, and marked the start of a 40 year Cold War with the Soviet Union. There had never been such a powerful weapon that could level cities in seconds and cause such widespread damage over hundreds of miles and it forever altered society.
In August 1939, physicists Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner wrote the Einstein-Szilard letter to warn the US about the development of new bombs of greater power and to get the US to begin to stockpile uranium and invest in research (Manhattan). In the UK, Otto Frisch and Rudolf Peierls found the critical mass of Uranium-235 which could be used by a bomb small enough to be carried by a plane (Manhattan). This led to the creation of the Maud Committee to develop an atomic bomb (Manhattan). In 1941 Roosevelt created the Office of Scientific Research and Development with a special subsection called the S-1 committee in charge of
making a uranium bomb (Manhattan). Mark Oliphant of the Maud Committee flew to the US to share the data they found and convinced Ernest O. Lawrence to join the S-1 committee and he brought along James B. Conant, Arthur Compton, and George Pegram (Manhattan). Roosevelt created the Top Policy Group to control the atomic bomb program and chose the Army to head the project (Manhattan). Major General Leslie Groves of the Army Corps of Engineers was put in charge of the Manhattan Project (Manhattan). The US collaborated with the UK and absorbed the UK’s Tube Alloys, the British version of the Manhattan Project...