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The Manhattan Project - Research Paper Example

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Adolf Hitler, who made the mistake of believing in his own propaganda, would likely not have believed that his own anti-Semitic policies took him further away from his dream of atomic weapons. In driving from Germany the theoretical architect of the atomic bomb that would lead…
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The Manhattan Project
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The Manhattan Project

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The overall cost of $2 billion USD requiring over 130,000 people on thirty sites in three different countries would pay for a military, political, and cultural transformation that would define the nightmares of the age to come.
The initial weapon itself, the fission warhead functioned exclusively through the splitting of radioactive, fissile uranium, creating a chain-reaction that leads to the splitting of additional atoms of fissile uranium for a release of energy thousands of times greater that anything which could be achieved using the trinitrotoluene (TNT) high-explosives that were prevalent early in the war. Specifically, the type of uranium used was the isotope (U-235), the difficulty in the procurement and purification of this precise form was the reason why 130,000 people were required.
The Gun method requires one plug or bullet of fissionable uranium fired at a larger mass of uranium; critical mass is achieved when the two collide. Implosion requires surrounding the fissionable mass with high-explosive shaped charges that detonate inwards, compressing the mass and resulting in a chain-reaction. It is possible to combine one or more of these systems for daisy-chain successive detonations, creating weapons of compounded magnitude beyond the immediate purposes of a military campaign. (Life, Editors 1961) Such a threat no doubt adding radioactive fuel to the fires of nuclear hysteria that gripped the nation in the subsequent decade.
The most immediate consequences of the Manhattan Project led to Japan being the only nation that sustained nuclear attack in time of war. Germanys surrender in the Spring on 1945 prevented them from being a threat in time for the first Little-Boy to be constructed. It is known, however that the Nazi did succeed in acquiring supplies of heavy water, containing the deuterium that would have aided ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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