This section provides an overview of the history of the Manhattan Project, the key organizations involved, the science behind the bomb, and more.
The debate over what precipitated the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II is a source of contention among historians. This debate has also figured prominently in the discussion of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Several committees played key roles in determining how and where the atomic bombs would be dropped on Japan.
In 1914, novelist H. G. Wells envisioned an atomic bomb that would produce a continual radioactive explosion in his book "The World Set Free."
By late 1939, there was still a lack of an overall "sense of urgency" among other government officials on atomic research.
The first concerted effort to understand and study the effects of radiation on humans began in Chicago in 1942.
Both the Oak Ridge and Hanford sites were chosen for their isolation and access to hydropower from surrounding river systems.
Espionage was one of General Groves' main concerns during the Manhattan Project.
France became the fourth country to possess nuclear weapons after its first test in 1960. While development was slowed by the impact of World War II, the achievements of early French research were critical for nuclear development worldwide.