Manhattan Project refers to a research project by the government of the United States that led to the production of atomic bombs for the first time. The United States’ government engaged in this project between 1942 and 1945. Scientists in America, most of who were refugees from the fascist regimes of Europe initiated the project in 1939 with an aim of organizing a project that would lead to the exploitation of the fission process that had just been recognized.
The project was to benefit the military operations. G.B Pegram from Columbia University made the first contact to the government by arranging a conference between the Navy Department and the Enrico Fermi in March 1939.
Fellow scientists of Albert Einstein persuaded him to present the potential that chain reaction of uncontrolled fission had on military operations to Franklin D. Roosevelt, the president of the U.S. In February of 1940, the government availed $6,000 to the project that was to be supervised by a committee led by L.J Briggs who was the National Bureau of Standards director.
The Manhattan Project was later on 6th December 1941 put under Vennevar Bush who was the Office of Research and Development’s director. Following the entry of the U.S into the war, the project was put under the War Department since mid-1942.
It is obvious that a wide range of laboratories, pilot plants and other manufacturing facilities were constructed by the United States at this time. Engineers of Army Corps Manhattan District were at first assigned the task of managing construction work in 1942. In September 1942, Leslie R. Groves, who was a Brigadier General, was put in charge of Army activities that related to Manhattan Project. The project was known for a wide range of research work that took place in different parts of the United States.
In 1940, it was established that scientists in Germany were also working on a project similar to Manhattan Project. The British also explored the problem. Towards the end of 1941, Pegram and Harold C. Urely visited England trying to establish cooperative efforts. By 1943, Canada and Great Britain established a policy for combined committee.
Several scientists from Britain moved to United States in the same year joining the Manhattan Project. Several materials were availed to the project including Uranium-235. Different methods and materials were explored and used by the scientists in an effort to produce atomic bombs. The first atomic bomb was tested on 16th July 1945 at the Trinity Site near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
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