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Citizen Kurchatov: Stalin's Bomb Maker


The Manhattan Project

During the Second World War, the United States and Britain jointly participated in the monumental task of building an atomic bomb. The project was code named the "Manhattan Project" to obscure its purpose, and because the first meetings were conducted in Manhattan.

In 1942, General Leslie Groves was chosen to direct the project. He quickly purchased land for research and production facilities around the country. Oak Ridge, Tennessee was chosen to process the uranium-235, and Hanford, Washington was procured for the site of the world's first production reactor.

For the scientific research and development, Groves chose Los Alamos, New Mexico for the location and J. Robert Oppenheimer for the project's science director.

During the next three years, thousands of scientists and technicians worked on building the bomb. In the end, they had produced three: "Gadget," "Little Boy," and "Fat Man."

Gadget was exploded in Alamogordo to make sure their design for "Fat Man" (a plutonium-based bomb) would work. "Little Boy" (a uranium-based bomb) was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, and "Fat Man" was later dropped on Nagasaki on August 9th.


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The Manhattan Project
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