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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.

216th Army Air Forces Base Unit

The 216th AAF served a crucial role in the Manhattan Project by helping to design and drop test bombs at Wendover Airfield, Utah.
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.

African Americans and the Manhattan Project

African Americans played an important, though often overlooked, role on the Manhattan Project.
German Experimental Pile

Alsos Mission

The Alsos Mission's goal was to learn how close Germany was to developing its own atomic weapon.
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.
Atomic Age Lamp

Atomic Age Design

The development of nuclear weapons had a notable impact on many aspects of American culture, including design. Spanning the late 1940s through about 1960, Atomic Age design is characterized by references and responses to nuclear science and the atomic bomb.

The theatrical release poster for Dr. Strangelove

Atomic Culture

Since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, people in the United States and around the world have developed cultural expressions of the atomic bomb.

Atomic Energy Commission

The Atomic Energy Commission succeeded the Manhattan Engineer District in January 1947, when the Atomic Energy Act went into effect.