Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Beginning this summer and throughout the fall semester, we are working to upgrade the research experience by making ongoing improvements to our Research Guides.
You may encounter changes in the look and feel of the Research Guides website along with structural changes to our existing guides. If you have any questions or concerns about this process please let us know.

Primary Sources: America in World War II

The Manhattan Project & Atomic Bomb

The Manhattan Project | Atomic Heritage Foundation

The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory that designed the actual bombs. The Army component of the project was designated the Manhattan District as its first headquarters were in Manhattan.  Two types of atomic bombs were developed concurrently during the war: a relatively simple gun-type fission weapon and a more complex implosion-type nuclear weapon. The Thin Man gun-type design proved impractical to use with plutonium, and therefore a simpler gun-type called Little Boy was developed that used uranium-235, an isotope that makes up only 0.7 percent of natural uranium. Since it was chemically identical to the most common isotope, uranium-238, and had almost the same mass, separating the two proved difficult.  Little Boy and Fat Man bombs were used a month later in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, with Manhattan Project personnel serving as bomb assembly technicians, and as weapons on the attack aircraft. Wikipedia

Huntington Public Schools, NYThe Invention of the Atomic BombLittle Boy - Wikipedia

Book Sources: Manhattan Project

  • Click the title for location and availability information.

 

Book Sources: Atomic Bomb - WWII

  • Click the title for location and availability information.