Extensive research surrounding radiation and nuclear energy was conducted by a Jewish scientist named Leo Szilard. In 1938, Szilard relocated from England to the United States where he discovered nuclear fission (Appendix: Key Figures in the Manhattan Project). Szilard, with the aid of fellow Jewish scientists Albert Einstein and Eugene Wigner (all of whom had fled Europe) wrote a joint letter to President Roosevelt warning him about Nazi Germany’s development of nuclear energy. President Roosevelt responded by creating a scientific advisory committee to look into the issue. He also communicated with the British government about how to sabotage the Nazi efforts to create nuclear weapons (Manhattan Project).
It wasn’t until June 1942, after the U.S. had entered the war that a formal project had been established for the development of nuclear weapons. This project was named the Manhattan Engineer District and was set up under the Army Corps of Engineers (The Manhattan Project). In September 17, 1942, Colonel Leslie Richard Groves was appointed the director (Sublette). On October 15, Col. Groves recruited Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer to become the head researcher for the project (Sublette). Dr. Oppenheimer recruited the top scientists and engineers from top universities nationwide and around the world to work on the Manhattan Project (The Manhattan Project).
As the war progressed, the scientists worked on developing uranium and plutonium bombs. But before they could finish the bombs for use, the German nuclear program was destroyed and Germany had already surrendered. However, by that time, the scientists were close to the bombs’ completion (Manhattan Project).
||VIDEO: "Scientists come from all over the world to work on the American Atomic Bomb,
then test it in New Mexico. July 1945." (World War II Database)
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"Appendix: Key Figures in the Manhattan Project." The Manhattan Project. 30 Apr. 1997. University of Texas at Austin. 18 Jul. 2005 <http://www.me.utexas.edu/~uer/manhattan/people.html>.
DOE. “Before the Atomic Age: "Shadow Pictures," Radioisotopes, and the Beginnings of Human Radiation Experimentation.” Human Radiation Experiments (?): 1-2. 11 July 2005 <http://www.eh.doe.gov/ohre/roadmap/achre/intro_2.html>.
Manhattan Project. 4 Sept. 2002. Spartacus Educational. 27 Jul. 2005 <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAmanhattan.htm>
Sublette, Carey. "The Manhattan Project." The Nuclear Weapon Archive. 10 Dec. 2001. 21 Jul. 2005 < http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Med/Med.html>.
“The Manhattan Project.” Manhattan Project Historical Timeline. 2003. National Atomic Museum. 27 Jul. 2005 <http://www.atomicmuseum.com/tour/manhattanproject.cfm>