The Manhattan Project was to build an atomic bomb.
235U and 239Pu are possible fuels.
235U extract from uranium (0.7% 235U and 99.3 % 238U)
Oak Ridge (59,000 acres) and Hanford Engineer Work (450,00 acres).
- Gas diffusion method
- Centrifuge method
- Electromagnetic method
- Thermal diffusion
- Combination of all the above
239Pu synthesis (Canada and US)
Information requirements - Project Y in Los Alamos Laboratory
- Critical masses determination - Louis Slotin (a Canadian)
Implosion to reduce critical masses.
- Chain reaction possibile? - Fermi atomic pile
- Neutron cross sections - theoretical and experimental
- Engineer design and construction
On July 16, 1945, a plutonium (Fat Man) bomb was tested in the desert
area called Jornada del Muerto (Journey of Death), part of
the Alamogordo bombing range in southern New Mexico. Two hemispheres
of plutonium, attached to a 30-meter steel tower, was forced to
fuse together by implosion so that they formed a critical mass
for a rapid chain reaction.
At 8:15 am August 6, 1945, Little Boy was dropped on
Hiroshima by a
modified B-29 bomber. The 235U-fueled bomb exploded 660 m
above the city to eliminate local fallout. Two pieces of 235U
were loaded into a special gun, one at the muzzle, and the other in
the barrel. When fired, the two pieces with a combined weight of 60 kg
contacted, a critical mass was reached, and explosion followed.
The explosive energy was equivalent to 20,000 tons of TNT.
Radiation Effects Research Foundation is a Japan-U.S. cooperative
effort to study the effects of atomic bombs. A lab is set up
in each of the affected cities.
is a Japanese web site detailing some of the effects with a bias.
Three days later on the 9th, a 239Pu-fueled bomb exploded
over Nagasaki, destroying half of the entire city. This bomb is the
same type as the Fat Man used in the Trinity Test.
Destruction by atomic bomb
- Light and energy (heat)
- Shock wave
- Secondary fire
- Radioactive fission products in the fallout
Atomic power and arm race
Atomic bomb project in Germany
Atomic bomb project in the former U.S.S.R.
Nuclear arm race in U.S., U.S.S.R., France, China, India, North Korea,
Taiwan, Iraq, Israel, etc.
Spy stories Klaus E.J. Fuchs (1911-1988)