The first contact with the government was made by G. In the summer ofAlbert Einstein was persuaded by his fellow scientists to use his influence and present the military potential of an uncontrolled fission chain reaction to Pres. On December 6,the project was put under the direction of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, headed by Vannevar Bush.
The S-1 Committee held its meeting on 18 December "pervaded by an atmosphere of enthusiasm and urgency"  in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent United States declaration of war upon Japan and then on Germany.
Styerthe chief of staff of Major General Brehon B. 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 Breitwho had quit on 18 May because of concerns over lax operational security.
Manleya physicist at the Metallurgical Laboratory, was assigned to assist Oppenheimer by contacting and coordinating experimental physics groups scattered across the country.
They tentatively confirmed that a fission bomb was theoretically possible. The properties of pure uranium were relatively unknown, as were those of plutonium, an element that had only been discovered in February by Glenn Seaborg and his team.
The scientists at the Berkeley conference envisioned creating plutonium in nuclear reactors where uranium atoms absorbed neutrons that had been emitted from fissioning uranium atoms.
At this point no reactor had been built, and only tiny quantities of plutonium were available from cyclotrons.
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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. Tolmanand the possibility of autocatalytic methodswhich would increase the efficiency of the bomb as it exploded.
Edward Teller pushed for discussion of a more powerful bomb: The fusion idea was put aside to concentrate on producing fission bombs. It somehow got into a document that went to Washington" and was "never laid to rest". Marshall created a liaison office in Washington, D.
He had permission to draw on his former command, the Syracuse District, for staff, and he started with Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Nicholswho became his deputy. Robbinsand his deputy, Colonel Leslie Groves.
Reybold, Somervell, and Styer decided to call the project "Development of Substitute Materials", but Groves felt that this would draw attention. This became official on 13 August, when Reybold issued the order creating the new district.
Unlike other districts, it had no geographic boundaries, and Marshall had the authority of a division engineer.
Development of Substitute Materials remained as the official codename of the project as a whole, but was supplanted over time by "Manhattan". The War Production Board recommended sites around Knoxville, Tennesseean isolated area where the Tennessee Valley Authority could supply ample electric power and the rivers could provide cooling water for the reactors.
After examining several sites, the survey team selected one near Elza, Tennessee. The first step was to obtain a high priority rating for the project. Claythe deputy chief of staff at Services and Supply for requirements and resources, felt that the highest rating he could assign was AA-3, although he was willing to provide a AAA rating on request for critical materials if the need arose.Home Civic Special Reports The Manhattan Project The Cost of Building Atom Industry This U.S.
News article from details the big industry and the prospect for commercial power in the s. Costs adjusted using a base year of (the year of highest Manhattan Project expenditures). Actual costs per facility per year are apparently unknown. In dollars, the cumulative cost of the Manhattan project over 5 fiscal years was approximately $22 billion; of the Apollo program over 14 fiscal years, approximately $98 billion; of post-oil shock energy R&D efforts over 35 fiscal years, $ billion.
The Costs of the Manhattan Project This concise website details exactly how much money was spent on the development of the atomic bomb during the Manhattan Project, and exactly where that money was spent.
The average cost of an atomic bomb during the World War II era: $5,,, Manhattan Project: Manhattan Project, U.S. government research project (–45) that produced the first atomic bombs. The Cost of Building Atom Industry. This U.S. News article from details the big industry and the prospect for commercial power in the s.