The World 's First Atomic Bomb

2572 WordsNov 22, 201611 Pages
What started out as a secret, yet modest research project, headed by the United States Army Corp of Engineers in the borough of New York City, soon escalated into the largest and most expensive operation the country had ever performed. With a cost of over two billion dollars what was to become known as the Manhattan Project employed tens of thousands of people who lived and worked in three top-secret locations. The project consisted of the country’s best and brightest scientists. All of whom were in an urgent race against their German counter-parts. With World War II raging in Europe everyone involved was acutely aware that the ruthless dictator Hitler would not stop until his scientists had created the worst weapon the world had ever seen. A weapon of mass destruction. And so, in order to defeat Germany and save millions of lives the Manhattan Project scientists strove to win the race to build the world’s first atomic bomb. In 1938 German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann were bombarding uranium with neutrons and discovering that they were left with the new substance barium. They did not quite understand why this was occurring and corresponded with their colleague Lise Meitner. Meitner was able to form an explanation by taking into consideration the earlier discoveries of physicists Neils Bohr and Albert Einstein. According to the Berkeley Nuclear Research Center, she concluded that “uranium nuclei had split to form barium and krypton, accompanied by the

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