The History and Science of the Manhattan Project
The development of atomic bombs under the auspices of the U. S. Army’s Manhattan Project during World War II is considered to be the outstanding news story of the twentieth century. In this book, a physicist and expert on the history of the Project presents a comprehensive overview of this momentous achievement. The first three chapters cover the history of nuclear physics from the discovery of radioactivity to the discovery of fission, and would be ideal for instructors of a sophomore-level “Modern Physics” course. Student-level exercises at the ends of the chapters are accompanied by answers. Chapter 7 covers the physics of first-generation fission weapons at a similar level, again accompanied by exercises and answers. For the interested layman and for non-science students and instructors, the book includes extensive qualitative material on the history, organization, implementation, and results of the Manhattan Project and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing missions. The reader also learns about the legacy of the Project as reflected in the current world stockpiles of nuclear weapons.
This is the only popular-level history of the Project prepared by a writer who is a physicist and who has broad knowledge of the relevant scientific details Ideal for readers who have no specialized scientific background but who want to learn more about how atomic bombs came to be Relevant scientific concepts are explained in the text as they are needed For readers who do possess some scientific background (high-school physics), this book will provide a deeper understanding of some of the technical issues involved in developing atomic bombs An ideal text for a college-level “general education” history or science class Based on years of research by the author into the physics of nuclear weapons, augmented by familiarity with relevant official archival documentation