Critical Assembly: A Technical History of Los Alamos during the Oppenheimer Years, 1943-1945

Critical Assembly: A Technical History of Los Alamos during the Oppenheimer Years, 1943-1945

by Lillian Hoddeson, Paul W. Henriksen, Roger A. Meade, Catherine L. Westfall
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521441323

ISBN-13: 9780521441322

Pub. Date: 05/28/1993

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This volume is a lucid and accurate history of the technical research that led to the first atomic bombs. The authors explore how the "critical assembly" of scientists, engineers, and military personnel at Los Alamos, responding to wartime deadlines, collaborated to create a new approach to large-scale research. The book opens with an introduction laying out major

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Overview

This volume is a lucid and accurate history of the technical research that led to the first atomic bombs. The authors explore how the "critical assembly" of scientists, engineers, and military personnel at Los Alamos, responding to wartime deadlines, collaborated to create a new approach to large-scale research. The book opens with an introduction laying out major themes. After a synopsis of the prehistory of the bomb project, from the discovery of nuclear fission to the start of the Manhattan Engineer District, and an overview of the early materials program, the book examines the establishment of the Los Alamos Laboratory, the implosion and gun assembly programs, nuclear physics research, chemistry and metallurgy, explosives, uranium and plutonium development, confirmation of spontaneous fission in pile-produced plutonium, the thermonuclear bomb, critical assemblies, the Trinity test, and delivery of the combat weapons.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521441322
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
05/28/1993
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
509
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 8.03(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
1Introduction1
2Early Research on Fission: 1933-194312
3The Early Materials Program: 1933-194324
4Setting Up Project Y: June 1942 to March 194340
5Research in the First Months of Project Y: April to September 194367
6Creating a Wartime Community: September 1943 to August 194491
7The Gun Weapon: September 1943 to August 1944111
8The Implosion Program Accelerates: September 1943 to July 1944129
9New Hopes for the Implosion Weapon: September 1943 to July 1944163
10The Nuclear Properties of a Fission Weapon: September 1943 to July 1944178
11Uranium and Plutonium: Early 1943 to August 1944205
12The Discovery of Spontaneous Fission in Plutonium and the Reorganization of Los Alamos228
13Building the Uranium Bomb: August 1944 to July 1945249
14Exploring the Plutonium Implosion Weapon: August 1944 to February 1945267
15Finding the Implosion Design: August 1944 to February 1945293
16Building the Implosion Gadget: March 1945 to July 1945315
17Critical Assemblies and Nuclear Physics: August 1944 to July 1945335
18The Test at Trinity: January 1944 to July 1945350
19Delivery: June 1943 to August 1945378
Epilogue398
20The Legacy of Los Alamos403
Notes418
Names Index493
Subject Index501

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