1944: Developing the Bomb

1944: Developing the Bomb

Timeline Image: 
B Reactor Workers

1944 Jan

General Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer decide to plan for a fission bomb test (none was envisioned before this). Groves stipulates that the active material must be recoverable if a fizzle occurs, so the construction of Jumbo, a 214 ton steel container (25 ft x 12 ft), is authorized.

1944 Jan

Philip Abelson, after learning about the problems with the Manhattan Project's gaseous diffusion plant, informs J. Robert Oppenheimer about the progress in his research on liquid thermal diffusion technology. This eventually leads to the construction of the S-50 Plant at Oak Ridge.

1944 Jan

Problems with developing suitable diffusion barriers leads General Leslie Groves to switch planned production to a new type of barrier, creating months of delays in equipping the K-25 Plant for operation.

1944 Jan

George Kistiakowsky arrives at Los Alamos, NM to assist Seth Neddermeyer in implosion research. It becomes increasingly clear that Neddermeyer's academic research style is unsuited to directing a rapidly expanding research and engineering program.

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