This section provides an overview of the history of the Manhattan Project, the key organizations involved, the science behind the bomb, and more.
South Africa is the first and only country to have successfully developed and then dismantled nuclear weapons.
Soviet physicists paid close attention to the news of the discovery of fission in Germany in 1938, and began research shortly thereafter.
The sprawling nuclear complex across the Soviet Union included entire cities that were kept closely guarded secrets.
The successful test of RDS-1 in August of 1949 inspired the Soviet government to institute a major, high-priority program to develop the hydrogen bomb.
The Army tapped the vast pool of GIs possessing scientific and technical backgrounds, assigning them to the Special Engineer Detachment.
During the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan initiated the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), otherwise known as "Star Wars," an anti-ballistic missile program that was designed to shoot down nuclear missiles in space.
Manhattan Project members participated in early missions to survey the two atomic bombing sites—Hiroshima and Nagasaki—after the Japanese surrender in August 1945.
By the end of 1945, the atomic bombings of Japan had killed an estimated 140,000 people at Hiroshima and 74,000 at Nagasaki. Often lost in those numbers are the experiences of the survivors, known as the hibakusha.