Atomic Bomb Project


Worries In The Scientific Community


Scientific community discovers German physicists figured out how to split the atom. Fear spread of the possibility of the Nazi's being able to create a bomb.

Albert Einstein writes letter to President Roosevelt warning him to begin nuclear research

Funds Received


$6000 made available to start research supervised by director of The National Bureau of Standards, LJ Briggs.

The Birth


Americans release code name for the design to build an atomic bomb. - The Manhattan Project

Name comes from place where early research was done in the city of Manhattan at Columbia University.

Dec.6 The project was lead by The Office of Scientific Research and Development headed by Vannevar Bush.

Production Ramps Up

June 1942

Corps of Engineers Manhattan District assigned to manage construction of facilities needed to produce an atomic bomb

Facilities were built in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Hanford, Washington
Main assembly plant built in Los Alamos, New Mexico, plant lead by Robert Oppenheimer (lead of assembly)

Oak Ridge Reactor

The First Steps

December 1942

First nuclear chain reaction produced at the University of Chicago by a group of physicists led by Enrico Fermi.

After completion more funds were allocated to advance the project faster.

Allies Jump In


Canada and Britain get involved

Canadian and British scientists move to US to be a part of the project

FIrst Tests

July 1945

Enough nuclear materials were created to create a nuclear explosion

The World Enters the Nuclear Age

July 16 1945

First test bomb detonated at Trinity Site, Alamogordo, New Mexico

Device hooked up to 100 ft tower and was blown up early that morning.

The flash was visible for 200 miles, formed a crater a half mile wide in which the sand turned to glass, the mushroom cloud reached 40 000 ft and it blew up windows of homes up to 100 miles away.

A cover up story about an explosions dump was released to not worry the public.

Videos of the test launch

US attacks Japan

August 6 1945

The bomb named "Little Boy" is dropped onto the city of Hiroshima

It caused 135 000 casualties

Video of bomb being dropped

The Second Bomb

August 9 1945

The bomb "Fat Man" dropped on Nagasaki

Caused 64 000 casualties

Video of both bombs being dropped