The Manhattan Project

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 that were being taken. Things such as the guard
dogs and the FBI talking to the families of the scientists bothered them
greatly. Also the scientists feared that Germany was ahead of them
in creating the bomb. Not helping the situation, Oppenheimer had
an affair with a Communist woman named Jean who he had known for quite
some time. The army learned of this and under General Groves orders,
were to keep it quiet. If word