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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.
The logo of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission

Pakistani Nuclear Program

Amid a bitter rivalry with India, Pakistan became a nuclear power after testing its first bombs in 1998.
B Reactor controls.

Peaceful Nuclear Innovations

Nuclear science has many peaceful implications for science and technology.
A ring of plutonium. Image courtesy Los Alamos National Laboratory/Wikimedia Commons.


Plutonium was first produced and isolated on December 14, 1940 at the University of California, Berkeley.
President George H. W. Bush and President Mikhail Gorbachev sign United States/Soviet Union agreements to end chemical weapon production and begin destroying their respective stocks, 1990. Photo courtesy of the George Bush Presidential Library.

Post-Cold War World

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 created a number of problems for the international community with regards to nuclear weapons.
Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, and Joseph Stalin

Potsdam: The Crossroads of Atomic Science and International Diplomacy

The Potsdam Conference was attended by representatives of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union in July 1945.
Project Alberta team members on Tinian

Project Alberta

Project Alberta, also known as Project A, was a division of the Manhattan Project created to plan and carry out all the necessary steps for making the atomic bombs operational.
B29 Superfortess.

Project Silverplate

Project "Silverplate" was the code name for the program to produce a special version of the B-29 capable of delivering the atomic bomb.
Karl Karpinski, Sgt Daniel Yearout, Michael Morgan, and Sgt John Crimmons at a Cabin near Guaje Canyoun

Provisional Engineer Detachment

Members of the Provisional Engineer Detachment (PED) played an integral part in the construction, operation, and maintenance of the “Secret City” of Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Soviet and Cuban Advisers in Angola, 1983

Proxy Wars During the Cold War: Africa

After World War II, the tension between communist and democratic forms of government strained relations between the Soviet Union and the United States and provided the ideological underpinnings of the Cold War. These tensions almost boiled over into full on conflict several times, especially as nuclear arms proliferation and testing advanced rapidly during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Both nations found it critical to expand their spheres of influence, largely by promoting leadership in the “Third World” that would be sympathetic to their causes.