History

History

This section provides an overview of the history of the Manhattan Project, the key organizations involved, the science behind the bomb, and more.
The first large-scale nuclear reactor in history, the B-Reactor, in Hanford, Washington

Nuclear Reactors

A nuclear reactor is a device that initiates, moderates, and controls the output of a nuclear chain reaction.
Bikini Test

Operation Crossroads

Operation Crossroads was a series of nuclear weapons tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1946.
Shot Hood of Operation Plumbbob. Image courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory Archives.

Operation Plumbbob - 1957

Operation Plumbbob was a series of 29 nuclear tests conducted by the U.S. military between May 28 and October 7, 1957, at the Nevada Test Site.
Oppenheimer.

Oppenheimer Security Hearing

In 1954, J. Robert Oppenheimer's security clearance was revoked by the Atomic Energy Commission.
B Reactor controls.

Peaceful Nuclear Innovations

Nuclear science has many peaceful implications for science and technology.
Plutonium pellet.

Plutonium

Plutonium's discovery in 1941 created unique opportunities and challenges for scientists.
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.

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