This section provides an overview of the history of the Manhattan Project, the key organizations involved, the science behind the bomb, and more.
Henry DeWolf Smyth prepared the official U.S. government history about the development of the atomic bombs.
A key component of keeping the Manhattan Project secret was making sure Project sites were secret and secure.
Soviet physicists paid close attention to the news of the discovery of fission in Germany in 1938, and began research shortly thereafter.
The successful test of RDS-1 in August of 1949 inspired the Soviet government to institute a major, high-priority program to develop the hydrogen bomb.
The Army tapped the vast pool of GIs possessing scientific and technical backgrounds, assigning them to the Special Engineering Detachment.
Manhattan Project members participated in early missions to survey the two atomic bombing sites—Hiroshima and Nagasaki—after the Japanese surrender in August 1945.
In 1939, Albert Einstein sent FDR a letter urging the US conduct research into an atomic bomb.
Soon after the Interim Committee concluded that the atomic bomb should be used as soon as possible against Japan, a group of scientists led by physicist James Franck founded a committee to study the question of the bomb's use.
As the Manhattan Project neared its first atomic test, there was a growing sentiment among project leaders that an advisory committee to make recommendations on nuclear energy should be created.