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Manhattan Project - Essay Example

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Summary
The Manhattan Project was the American program for researching and developing the first atomic bombs. The weapons produced were based solely upon the principles of nuclear fission of uranium 235 and plutonium 239, chain reactions liberating immense amounts of destructive heat energy…
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Manhattan Project

Download file to see previous pages... In the quest for an atomic-powered weapon, the secrets of nuclear physics and chemistry were exposed. Following the theoretical assessment of producing a controllable nuclear chain reactor, physical engineering was employed to construct the specific mechanics required. Communication contributed as much to the success of the Manhattan Project as did scientific discovery. Although the creation of the first atomic weapon was clearly a technological triumph, the question of morality and responsibility to ethics will forever plague the topic. Regardless of whether America was morally justified in deploying atomic weaponry on Japan, though, the Manhattan Project will always be an excellent example of collaboration and communication in scientific and engineering fields.
The Atomic Age, a period of incessant discovery and revelation of atomic and subatomic wonders - an age that revolutionized the physical world - began on a vacant playing field beneath the University of Chicago stadium on December 2, 1942. In the late afternoon of this momentous day, Fermi and Leo Szilard created the first controlled nuclear reactor, a model later reconstructed into five different reactor prototypes.[3] From the first controllable chain reaction to the dropping of atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, the fields of physics, chemistry, and mathematics - the core disciplines of modern engineering - raced mercilessly ahead to godly enlightenment: the power of life and annihilation.
The first atomic bomb, a weapon harnessing the devastating power of nuclear fission, was developed as an end to World War II and all war thereafter. Comprehension of the bomb and its historical development is attained by breaking the subject into three related components: chemistry, nuclear physics, and the practical engineering that realized the theoretical dream.
The Chemistry Aspect
Fission is an elementary chemical interaction between subatomic particles. Nuclear fission is defined as the splitting of an atom by nucleus bombardment. Atoms consist of three subatomic particles: negatively charged electrons, positively charged protons, and neutrons, which have no electrical charge. Atomic nuclei are dense cores of atoms composed of neutrons and protons, and are thus positively charged. Chemical reactions, from basic acid-base titrations to nuclear fission, involve the collision of atomic particles.
Fission begins with the high-energy collision of neutrons with the nucleus of another atom. Protons cannot partake in nuclear bombardment because of the electrostatic repulsion between positively-charged protons and nuclei. For fission to proceed, a neutron fired at the atom must fuse with the nucleus, producing a less-stable isotope. The "heavy" atom, chemically volatile, will split into two stable atoms, discharge neutrons, and generate energy (in the form of Gamma radiation). The neutrons released are free to collide ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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