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Getting familiar with Manhattan Project of Allied Forces

The Manhattan Project appeared to be a research and development project aimed at producing the first nuclear weapons during the World War II. The project was led by the United States with the active support of Canada and Great Britain. During the period 1942-1946, Major General Leslie Groves of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers led the Manhattan Project. Another prominent person participating in the project was J. Robert Oppenheimer, physicist and the director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, developing the actual nuclear bombs.

The Army component of this high-tech project was dubbed the Manhattan District. Gradually it acquired the codename Development of Substitute Materials. By the way, the project managed to absorb its British rival, Tube Alloys.

The Manhattan Project started in 1939. With the cost of almost 26 billion dollars, it gradually employed up to 130,000 people. Over 90% of the total cost was spent on building factories as well as producing the fissile materials, while less than 10% of the sum was allocated for the development and production of the nuclear weapons. As for research and production, they took place at more than thirty sites of the United States, Canada and Great Britain.

Two types of nuclear weapons were developed during the WWII. One of them was rather a simple gun-type fission weapon, built around the use of uranium, while a more complicated plutonium implosion-type weapon was developed simultaneously. For the Gun-Type weapon the scientists had to develop uranium-235, which is an isotope, making up just 0.7% of natural uranium. Chemically identical to the most widespread isotope, uranium-238 and with nearly the same mass, it proved extremely difficult to separate the two.

For uranium enrichment three basic methods were utilized. These are gaseous, electromagnetic and thermal. Oak Ridge, Tennessee was the place where most of this work was carried out. Along with the work on uranium, there was an effort to generate plutonium. In Hanford, Washington and Oak Ridge special reactors were designed to irradiate uranium and transmute it into plutonium. At that time the scientists managed to separate the plutonium from the uranium. The gun-type design appeared to be impractical to utilize with plutonium. As a result, a concerted design was used for the implosion-type weapon at the principal research and design laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

The Manhattan Project appeared to be a research and development project aimed at producing the first nuclear weapons during the World War II. The project was led by the United States with the active support of Canada and Great Britain. During the period 1942-1946, Major General Leslie Groves of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers led the Manhattan Project.

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100000612
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CREATED ON
July 10, 2016
COMPLETED ON
July 11, 2016
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Essay Example Comments
lucylulu72382
December 1, 2016
lucylulu72382
good!
nems1264
November 29, 2016
nems1264
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November 29, 2016
mara693880
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