On the latest episode of Manhattan, the physicists assigned to developing the gun model design for the atomic bomb hit a major obstacle that threatens to sink the gun model for good. It’s a dilemma ripped straight from the history books, along with the eventual solution.
A newly declassified document obtained by a nuclear historian reveals that the Manhattan Project scientists who designed and detonated the first atomic bomb estimated that 10 to 100 enhanced "superbombs" would produce enough atmospheric radiation to wipe out the human race.
The World War II program to develop an atomic bomb was the largest secret project ever undertaken by the U.S. government. But newly-declassified documents reveal how it hard it was to keep things secret as the weapon neared completion. Information leaks were everywhere, even in church sermons.
Here's a collection of rare historical photos from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a town established by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1942 on an isolated farm. It was a secret location that became one of the most significant sites of the Manhattan Project.
During the 1940s, the denizens of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, worked for the Manhattan Project, developing atomic weapons in their government-owned city. They went about their daily lives in the shadows of billboards exhorting them not only to support the war effort, but also to keep quiet about their jobs.
Klaus Fuchs was just one of the many eccentrics chosen to work on the Manhattan Project. People remembered him as being serious, quiet, and earnest. He was also a spy — whose eventual capture lead to both the Red Scare and the arrest of the Rosenbergs.
In 1942, the US government acquired the town of Oak Ridge in eastern Tennessee. From then on, Oak Ridge was just like any other town — except for the fences, the guards, and the top-secret uranium separating facility.
When we reflect on iconic images of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and their nuclear devastation, one of the first to come to mind is inevitably a mushroom cloud.