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The Manhattan Project Essay

1440 words - 6 pages

Manhattan Project Research Paper

Nuclear research all started when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and the United States entered into World War II. When the United States realized that Germany attempted to build an atomic bomb, Americans began to concentrate on their research about creating an atomic bomb. President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Manhattan Project, which included a group of top scientists, under General Leslie R. Groves, who worked around the clock to try to develop an atomic bomb within three years. The Americans and the British combined their efforts to research the development of the bomb and created plants and factories to work in. They created plants ...view middle of the document...

The plutonium needed for the bombs were in microscopic sizes, which was very difficult to handle. Plutonium’s properties were unknown, and scientists knew very little about uranium 235.
After scientists studied and became familiar with plutonium and uranium 235, they were able to begin the manufacturing process. One of the first things that the scientists needed to do was determine what the plutonium and uranium 235 would do when the bomb was dropped. The bomb used approximately 10,000 to 20,000 tons of trinitrotoluene(TNT). The plutonium and other high explosives were put together to form an implosion bomb.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, and Vice President Harry S. Truman took office. When Truman took office, he did not know anything about the Manhattan Project, which showed the top secrecy of it. He finally found out about the project one week after in office. On April 25, 1945, Secretary of War Henry Stimson and General Leslie Groves informed Truman of the bombs that were created. Roosevelt left Truman with a significant amount of duties to step up to, and Truman had to make the extremely tough decision about the use of the bombs. His decision to use the bomb was justified by his thought that the war would finally come to an end, and many lives would be saved on both sides. On June 1, 1945, the committee told Truman to use to bomb against Japan without a warning. Secretary of State James Byrnes stated Truman’s reaction by saying, “with reluctance he had to agree that he could think of no other alternative”.
Tested on July 16, 1945, in Los Alamos, the plutonium bomb formed a “spherically symmetrical shock wave traveling towards the center of the bomb”.
Scientists did not test the uranium bomb because there was great confidence in its abilities. After perfecting the bombs, scientists dropped them as soon as possible. The whole project cost about $2 billion. The Manhattan Project is said to be “the product of the greatest research and development project in history”.
At the Potsdam Conference in July of 1945, the United States told Japan to surrender, or they will face the consequences. Japan responded by saying mokusatsu, which means “to ignore or to kill with contempt”. The Japanese refused to surrender, which lead to the bombings. Truman reacted to Japan’s failure to surrender by saying, “They [Japan] may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the life of which has never been seen on this earth”.
After the Japanese refused to surrender, the United States established a committee to determine the place to drop the bombs. The committee searched for places that were not already damaged, were important military wise, and would affect Japan’s ability to continue fighting. Some key places that the United States focused on included Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, and Kyoto, all located on mainland Japan. After reviewing the choices, the United States removed Kyoto from the list because of the...

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