History

History

This section provides an overview of the history of the Manhattan Project, the key organizations involved, the science behind the bomb, and more.
100 tons of TNT

100-ton TNT Shot

Before the Trinity test, Manhattan Project officials realized that a calibration explosion using ordinary high-explosives would be useful.
The Enola Gay today on display at the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center.

509th Composite Group

The 509th Composite Group was organized as the weapon delivery arm of the Manhattan Project.
AEC Logo

After the Bomb - 1946

The Manhattan Project ushered in the Atomic Age.
A mockup of the accident that killed Louis Slotin.

Atomic Accidents

Although the Manhattan Project was overall a surprisingly safe project, there were a few tragic accidents.
Manhattan Project Insignia. By Aaron Sauers, Argonne National Laboratory

Atomic Glossary

Some of the terms encountered when perusing the website can be confusing or obscure. This glossary is provided to assist readers and learners of Manhattan Project history.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

Attack on Pearl Harbor - 1941

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the US into World War II.
President Franklin Roosevelt and Vice President Harry Truman

Big Science

President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the research, development, and production of an atomic bomb despite great uncertainties.
Schermerhorn Hall at Columbia University

Breakthroughs - 1942

During the first half of 1942, several routes to a bomb were explored.
William Penney, Otto Frisch, Rudolf Peierls, and John Cockroft

Britain's Early Input - 1940-41

The Frisch-Peierls Memorandum was an important assessment confirming the feasibility of an atomic bomb.

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