The Manhattan Project was a research and development project that produced the first atomic bombs during World War II. It was led by the United States manhattan 5 pound book pdf the support of the United Kingdom and Canada. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Manhattan” gradually became the codename for the entire project.
Along the way, the project absorbed its earlier British counterpart, Tube Alloys. Two types of atomic bomb were developed during the war.
A relatively simple gun-type fission weapon was made using uranium-235, an isotope that makes up only 0. 7 percent of natural uranium.
Since it is chemically identical to the most common isotope, uranium-238, and has almost the same mass, it proved difficult to separate. Three methods were employed for uranium enrichment: electromagnetic, gaseous and thermal. Most of this work was performed at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
In parallel with the work on uranium was an effort to produce plutonium. Reactors were constructed at Oak Ridge and Hanford, Washington, in which uranium was irradiated and transmuted into plutonium. The plutonium was then chemically separated from the uranium. The gun-type design proved impractical to use with plutonium so a more complex implosion-type nuclear weapon was developed in a concerted design and construction effort at the project’s principal research and design laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico.