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.

Nuclear Fission

In the 1930s, scientists observed and explained nuclear fission--splitting an atom--for the first time.
President Lyndon Johnson looking on as Secretary of State Dean Rusk prepares to sign the NPT, 1 July 1968. Photo Courtesy of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a comprehensive international arms control agreement addressing both horizontal and vertical nuclear proliferation.

Experimental Breeder Reactor I. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear Power Today

One of the Manhattan Project’s many legacies is the development of peaceful nuclear reactors.
US Trident missile.

Nuclear Proliferation Today

The unprecedented use of nuclear weapons in World War II served as the starting point for an ongoing era of nuclear proliferation.
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.
Emblem of the Antarctic Treaty

Nuclear Weapon Free Zones and Denuclearization

This article discusses Nuclear Weapon Free Zones and other denuclearization agreements.
Operation Crossroads, Bikini Atoll 1946

Nuclear Weapon Test Bans

This article summarizes multilateral and bilateral nuclear weapon test ban treaties.
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.

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