Nov 11, 2022
(Bonus) The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada. 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the project was designated the Manhattan District as its first headquarters were in Manhattan; the placename gradually superseded the official codename, Development of Substitute Materials, for the entire project. Along the way, the project absorbed its earlier British counterpart, Tube Alloys. The Manhattan Project began modestly in 1939 but grew to employ more than 130,000 people and cost nearly US$2 billion (equivalent to about $23 billion in 2020). Over 90 percent of the cost was for building factories and producing fissile material, with less than 10 percent for developing and producing weapons. Research and production took place at more than thirty sites across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.