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The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II.
The Manhattan Project operated under a blanket of tight security, but Soviet atomic spies still penetrated the program. In August 1939, prominent physicists Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner drafted the Einstein–Szilard letter, which warned of the potential development of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type". Briggs proposed that the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) spend $167,000 on research into uranium, particularly the uranium-235 isotope, and the recently discovered plutonium.[3] On 28 June 1941, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8807, which created the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD),[4] with Vannevar Bush as its director. The S-1 Committee held its first meeting on 18 December 1941 "pervaded by an atmosphere of enthusiasm and urgency"[12] in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent declaration of war by the United States on Japan and Germany. Meanwhile, there were two lines of research into nuclear reactor technology, with Harold Urey continuing research into heavy water at Columbia, while Arthur Compton brought the scientists working under his supervision at Columbia University and Princeton University to the University of Chicago, where he organized the Metallurgical Laboratory in early 1942 to study plutonium and reactors using graphite as a neutron moderator.[15] Briggs, Compton, Lawrence, Murphree and Urey met on 23 May 1942 to finalize the S-1 Committee recommendations, which called for all five technologies to be pursued. Considering the idea of the fission bomb theoretically settled—at least until more experimental data was available—the Berkeley conference then turned in a different direction.
Because most of his task involved construction, Marshall worked in cooperation with the head of the Corps of Engineers Construction Division, Major General Thomas M.
Bush became dissatisfied with Colonel Marshall's failure to get the project moving forward expeditiously, specifically the failure to acquire the Tennessee site, the low priority allocated to the project by the Army and the location of his headquarters in New York City.[39] Bush felt that more aggressive leadership was required, and spoke to Harvey Bundy and Generals Marshall, Somervell and Styer about his concerns. On 19 September Groves went to Donald Nelson, the chairman of the War Production Board, and asked for broad authority to issue a AAA rating whenever it was required. One of Groves' early problems was to find a director for Project Y, the group that would design and build the bomb. The British and Americans exchanged nuclear information but did not initially pool their efforts. James Chadwick pressed for British involvement in the Manhattan Project to the fullest extent.
The Combined Policy Committee created the Combined Development Trust in June 1944, with Groves as its chairman, to procure uranium and thorium ores on international markets.
The day after he took over the project, Groves took a train to Tennessee with Colonel Marshall to inspect the proposed site there, and Groves was impressed.[61][62] On 29 September, United States Under Secretary of War Robert P.
Initially known as the Kingston Demolition Range, the site was officially renamed the Clinton Engineer Works (CEW) in early 1943.[69] To enable Stone and Webster to concentrate on the production facilities, a residential community for 13,000 was designed and built by the architectural and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. The idea of locating Project Y at Oak Ridge was considered, but in the end it was decided that it should be in a remote location. An Army-OSRD council on 25 June 1942 decided to build a pilot plant for plutonium production in the Argonne Forest southwest of Chicago.
Delays in establishing Argonne led Compton to authorize construction of the first nuclear reactor beneath the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago.
By December 1942 there were concerns that even Oak Ridge was too close to a major population center (Knoxville) in the unlikely event of a major nuclear accident.
DuPont recommended that the site be located far from the existing uranium production facility at Oak Ridge.[88] In December 1942, Groves dispatched Colonel Franklin Matthias and DuPont engineers to scout potential sites.
The Chalk River, Ontario, site was established to rehouse the Allied effort at the Montreal Laboratory at McGill University away from an urban area. Although DuPont's preferred designs for the nuclear reactors were helium cooled and used graphite as a moderator, DuPont still expressed an interest in using heavy water as a backup, in case the graphite reactor design proved infeasible for some reason.
The key raw material for the project was uranium, which was used as fuel for the reactors, as feed that was transformed into plutonium, and, in its enriched form, in the atomic bomb itself. The richest source of ore was the Shinkolobwe mine in the Belgian Congo, but it was flooded and closed. But consider Banff and Jasper, Canadian parks so vast (6,700 square miles combined) that the four ski resorts residing within their boundaries are virtually imperceptible among the myriad peaks. On the 90-minute drive from Calgary to the park entrance, Banff's peaks appear to queue up like a gaggle of middle school boys.
We slow at the diminutive cedar gatehouse entrance that, left alone in the middle of the highway, appears to shiver in the snow.
I also know the people who enter this portal would rather spend their time outdoors on a pair of snowshoes than indoors at the mall. There's a more selfish reason why entering Banff feels good; I know I'll soon be skiing at resorts that don't sacrifice quality for quantity.
In Banff, the weekend brunch at The Bison Mountain Bistro practically demands we take a snow day. Sunshine Village sits in a gigantic meadow, so 3- to 90-year-olds can find ideal terrain after the cool ride. You'll need a special hill to burn off the thousands of calories you've consumed the night before while noshing Canada's quintessential comfort food. With 4,200 skiable acres and 140 named runs, Lake Louise resides among North America's largest ski areas. We were particularly fond of "The Wall" for both its challenge and its view of the entire valley.
From the Oregon coast to the Columbia River Gorge, and in the heart of Portland, your guide to Oregon's trails.
From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Over 90% of the cost was for building factories and producing the fissionable materials, with less than 10% for development and production of the weapons. Reactors were constructed at Hanford, Washington, in which uranium was irradiated and transmuted into plutonium. It urged the United States to take steps to acquire stockpiles of uranium ore and accelerate the research of Enrico Fermi and others into nuclear chain reactions. Oliphant then set out to find out why the committee's findings were apparently being ignored.
Work was proceeding on three different techniques for isotope separation to separate uranium-235 from uranium-238. Robert Oppenheimer of the University of California, Berkeley, to take over research into fast neutron calculations—the key to calculations of critical mass and weapon detonation—from Gregory Breit, who had quit on 18 May 1942 because of concerns over lax operational security.[16] John H. The properties of pure uranium-235 were relatively unknown, as were those of plutonium, an element that had only been discovered in February 1941 by Glenn Seaborg and his team.
The War Production Board recommended sites around Knoxville, Tennessee, an isolated area where the Tennessee Valley Authority could supply ample electric power and the rivers could provide cooling water for the reactors. Later that day, he attended a meeting called by Stimson, which established a Military Policy Committee, responsible to the Top Policy Group, consisting of Bush (with Conant as an alternate), Styer and Rear Admiral William R.


Nelson initially balked but quickly caved in when Groves threatened to go to the President.[45] Groves promised not to use the AAA rating unless it was necessary. The obvious choice was one of the three laboratory heads, Urey, Lawrence or Compton, but they could not be spared.
Britain rebuffed attempts by Bush and Conant in 1941 to strengthen cooperation with its own project, codenamed Tube Alloys.[49] However, the United Kingdom could not muster the manpower or resources of the United States, and despite its early and promising start, Tube Alloys soon fell behind its American counterpart. Stimson, Bush and Conant served as the American members of the Combined Policy Committee, Field Marshal Sir John Dill and Colonel J.
In 1944, the Combined Development Trust purchased 3,440,000 pounds (1,560,000 kg) of uranium oxide ore from companies operating mines in the Belgian Congo. The community was located on the slopes of Black Oak Ridge, from which the new town of Oak Ridge got its name.[70] The Army presence at Oak Ridge increased in August 1943 when Nichols replaced Marshall as head of the Manhattan Engineer District. On Oppenheimer's recommendation, the search for a suitable site was narrowed to the vicinity of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Oppenheimer owned a ranch. Oppenheimer went so far as to order himself a lieutenant colonel's uniform, but two key physicists, Robert Bacher and Isidor Rabi, balked at the idea. In July, Nichols arranged for a lease of 1,000 acres (400 ha) from Cook County, Illinois, and Captain James F.
On 2 December 1942 a team led by Enrico Fermi initiated the first artificial[note 3] self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction in an experimental reactor known as Chicago Pile-1. Groves recruited DuPont in November 1942 to be the prime contractor for the construction of the plutonium production complex. Matthias reported that Hanford Site near Richland, Washington, was "ideal in virtually all respects".
The federal government relocated some 1,500 residents of White Bluffs and Hanford, and nearby settlements, as well as the Wanapum and other tribes using the area.
Although progress on the reactor design at Metallurgical Laboratory and DuPont was not sufficiently advanced to accurately predict the scope of the project, a start was made in April 1943 on facilities for an estimated 25,000 workers, half of whom were expected to live on-site. A new community was built at Deep River, Ontario, to provide residences and facilities for the team members.
Nichols unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate its reopening with Edgar Sengier, the director of the company that owned the mine, Union Miniere du Haut Katanga.[101] The matter was then taken up by the Combined Policy Committee. Louis, Missouri, took the raw ore and dissolved it in nitric acid to produce uranyl nitrate. Bower, special to The OregonianThe views of the Canadian Rockies from ski slopes in Banff compete with the pleasure of skiing through the area's legendary champagne powder.
Combine the ease of getting to Calgary with the recent decline of the Canadian dollar, and the legendary champagne powder of the Canadian Rockies has never looked so good.
From hut-to-hut touring in the Columbia Icefields to a sleigh ride loop leaving the magical Lake Louise Chateau Fairmont to a dash behind a pack of huskies, we returned wishing our winter holiday had lasted for weeks instead of a few days. He had never visited before and assumed this region would be similar to the Cascades, especially since these ranges also comprise part of the Canadian Cordillera and the Pacific Ring of Fire. In the age of rapidly diminishing wilderness, national parks feel as close to safe havens for the wild as anywhere in North America. It's the same feeling I have when I pass another kayaker in Puget Sound or happen by someone who's stopped for lunch on the Pacific Crest Trail. Banff's boom is in the summer, when the parks fill to capacity and the hotel lobbies are packed with so many busloads it feels a little like the Port Authority in New York City. The seasonal menu and fresh baked goods from the downstairs bakery combine to satiate and re-energize you for what's to come.
Take an icewalk, a walking crampon tour through Grotto Canyon to observe spectacular icefalls and also the spectacle of climbers ascending the face as the water roars backstage. No other area in North America requires as long a gondola journey just to arrive at the ski village.
By night the street opens up with skiers sliding from the live Western rock of Wild Bill's to the '80s cover band at the Rose & Crown to Aurora, a basement club that pulses with a Vancouver vibe.
The terrain features several phenomenal "Powder Bowls," fantastic glade runs, excellent beginner and intermediate fare, and an enormous back side that a family of diverse skiers can claim as its own. Lake Louise's lodge is also the area's best on-mountain, apres-ski locale (though the mayor of Banff hangs out at Norquay), and the easy shuttle return to sleepy Lake Louise itself or boisterous Banff leaves absolutely no reason to drive. The Army component of the project was designated the Manhattan District; "Manhattan" gradually superseded the official codename, "Development of Substitute Materials", for the entire project. Research and production took place at more than 30 sites, some secret, across the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. Through Operation Alsos, Manhattan Project personnel served in Europe, sometimes behind enemy lines, where they gathered nuclear materials and rounded up German scientists. He met with the Uranium Committee, and visited Berkeley, California, where he spoke persuasively to Ernest O.
To control it, he created a Top Policy Group consisting of himself—although he never attended a meeting—Wallace, Bush, Conant, Secretary of War Henry L.
Manley, a physicist at the Metallurgical Laboratory, was assigned to assist Oppenheimer by contacting and coordinating experimental physics groups scattered across the country.[17] Oppenheimer and Robert Serber of the University of Illinois examined the problems of neutron diffusion—how neutrons moved in a nuclear chain reaction—and hydrodynamics—how the explosion produced by a chain reaction might behave. The scientists at the Berkeley conference envisioned creating plutonium in nuclear reactors where uranium-238 atoms absorbed neutrons that had been emitted from fissioning uranium-235 atoms.
Reybold, Somervell and Styer decided to call the project "Development of Substitute Materials", but Groves felt that this would draw attention. The top ratings were AA-1 through AA-4 in descending order, although there was also a special AAA rating reserved for emergencies. It soon transpired that for the routine requirements of the project the AAA rating was too high but the AA-3 rating was too low. Compton recommended Oppenheimer, who was already intimately familiar with the bomb design concepts. DuPont was offered a standard cost plus fixed fee contract, but the President of the company, Walter S. It was isolated and near the Columbia River, which could supply sufficient water to cool the reactors that would produce the plutonium. A dispute arose with farmers over compensation for crops, which had already been planted before the land was acquired.
By July 1944, some 1,200 buildings had been erected and nearly 51,000 people were living in the construction camp. The site was chosen for its proximity to the industrial manufacturing area of Ontario and Quebec, and proximity to a rail head adjacent to a large military base, Camp Petawawa.


As 30 percent of Union Miniere's stock was controlled by British interests, the British took the lead in negotiations. Ether was then added in a liquid-liquid extraction process to separate the impurities from the uranyl nitrate. Imagine a ski lift on Mount Rainier or a black diamond run coming off the face of Glacier National Park's Mount Gould and you can see why pristine environments and downhill skiing operations don't mesh.
The shoulders of another gangly slab of sedimentary rock slouch next to the rigid profile of yet another 75-million-year-old boulder. Mount Norquay, aka the local's hill, is the smallest of the areas, yet it possesses some of the most exciting terrain.
We take the chair up to the top, as the village of Banff spreads beneath us, admire the view from one of North America's greatest picnic table locales, then slip down the chute onto Upper Lone Pine, pitched at 35 degrees and still full of fresh snow even though we're approaching our last run.
Wait for dark and follow Stewart Canyon Bridge past the cackles of the icecap and toward a crackling fire. If there is any question you are being taken somewhere special, it's answered when the carriage takes an abrupt right turn and starts heading up.
The late-night players line up at Aardvark's Pizza for one last boatful of poutine, the French Canadian delicacy: french fries covered with cheese curd and then smothered in gravy.
Along the way, the Manhattan Project absorbed its earlier British counterpart, Tube Alloys. The gun-type design proved impractical to use with plutonium so a more complex implosion-type weapon was developed in a concerted design and construction effort at the project's weapons research and design laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
In the immediate postwar years the Manhattan Project conducted weapons testing at Bikini Atoll as part of Operation Crossroads, developed new weapons, promoted the development of the network of national laboratories, supported medical research into radiology and laid the foundations for the nuclear navy. Roosevelt called on Lyman Briggs of the National Bureau of Standards to head the Advisory Committee on Uranium to investigate the issues raised by the letter. To review this work and the general theory of fission reactions, Oppenheimer convened meetings at the University of Chicago in June and at the University of California, Berkeley, in July 1942 with theoretical physicists Hans Bethe, John Van Vleck, Edward Teller, Emil Konopinski, Robert Serber, Stan Frankel, and Eldred C. It was close to the Manhattan office of Stone & Webster, the principal project contractor, and to Columbia University. Since engineer districts normally carried the name of the city where they were located, Marshall and Groves agreed to name the Army's component of the project the Manhattan District. However, Oppenheimer had little administrative experience, and, unlike Urey, Lawrence or Compton, had not won a Nobel Prize, which many scientists felt that the head of such an important laboratory should have. Dudley of the Manhattan Project was sent to survey the area, and he recommended a site near Jemez Springs, New Mexico.[73] On 16 November, Oppenheimer, Groves, Dudley and others toured the site. Carpenter, Jr., wanted no profit of any kind, and asked for the proposed contract to be amended to explicitly exclude the company from acquiring any patent rights. For this process, Hugh Taylor of Princeton developed a platinum-on-carbon catalyst for the first three stages while Urey developed a nickel-chromia one for the fourth stage tower. He negotiated with Eldorado Gold Mines for the purchase of ore from its mine in Port Hope, Ontario, and its shipment in 100-ton lots. I'm no rock jock, but the desire to pull over and photograph the next outcropping is irresistible. We'd spent the morning sluicing through the trees across the hill, but the afternoon sun calls the powder worshippers westward. After twenty minutes, we step out to find a fully functioning village replete with the Sunshine Mountain Lodge, a three-story hotel that stands at 7,082 feet above sea level. A relatively simple gun-type fission weapon was made using uranium-235, an isotope that makes up only 0.7 percent of natural uranium.
The first nuclear device ever detonated was an implosion-type bomb at the Trinity test, conducted at New Mexico's Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range on 16 July 1945. It maintained control over American atomic weapons research and production until the formation of the United States Atomic Energy Commission in January 1947. Briggs held a meeting on 21 October 1939, which was attended by Szilard, Wigner and Edward Teller. Roosevelt chose the Army to run the project rather than the Navy, as the Army had the most experience with management of large-scale construction projects. Nelson, the latter three former students of Oppenheimer, and experimental physicists Felix Bloch, Emilio Segre, John Manley and Edwin McMillan. The simplest was shooting a "cylindrical plug" into a sphere of "active material" with a "tamper"—dense material that would focus neutrons inward and keep the reacting mass together to increase its efficiency.[21] They also explored designs involving spheroids, a primitive form of "implosion" suggested by Richard C. This became official on 13 August, when Reybold issued the order creating the new district.
Oppenheimer feared that the high cliffs surrounding the site would make his people feel claustrophobic, while the engineers were concerned with the possibility of flooding. The first director of the new laboratory was John Cockroft, later replaced by Bennett Lewis.
Although known as Ordnance Works and paid for under Ordnance Department contracts, they were built and operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. Since it is chemically identical to the main isotope, uranium-238, and has almost the same mass, it proved difficult to separate. Little Boy, a gun-type weapon, and the implosion-type Fat Man were used in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. A long conversation on a train in October 1942 convinced Groves and Nichols that Oppenheimer thoroughly understood the issues involved in setting up a laboratory in a remote area and should be appointed as its director. Howe was the Canadian member.[54] Llewellin returned to the United Kingdom at the end of 1943 and was replaced on the committee by Sir Ronald Ian Campbell, who in turn was replaced by the British Ambassador to the United States, Lord Halifax, in early 1945.
Robert Oppenheimer is in the second row on the left; to the right in the photograph is Richard Feynman. A pilot reactor known as ZEEP (zero-energy experimental pile) became the first Canadian reactor, and the first to be completed outside the United States, when it went critical in September 1945. Unlike other districts, it had no geographic boundaries, and Marshall had the authority of a division engineer. Groves initially allocated $300,000 for construction, three times Oppenheimer's estimate, with a planned completion date of 15 March 1943.



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