Rushville Republican

News

May 13, 2007

The Day the Sun Rose Twice

A History of “The Manhattan Project”

In August of 1939, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt that would change the course of history.

Einstein and several other scientists notified the President of Nazi efforts to purify uranium-235, in the hopes that it could be used to build an atomic bomb. The United States government wasted no time in beating Adolf Hitler and his evil regime to the punch and began "The Manhattan Project,” with the sole focus a commitment to expediting research that would produce a viable atomic bomb.

uuu

For the scientists involved, the most complicated issue to be addressed in making an atomic bomb was the production of ample amounts of "enriched" uranium to sustain a chain reaction. At the time, uranium-235 was very hard to extract. In fact, the ratio of conversion from uranium ore to uranium metal is 500:1.

Compounding this, the one part of uranium that is finally refined from the ore is over 99 percent uranium-238, which is practically useless for an atomic bomb. To make the task even more difficult, the useful U-235 and nearly useless U-238 are isotopes, nearly identical in their chemical makeup. No ordinary chemical extraction method could separate them; only mechanical methods could work.

A massive enrichment laboratory/plant was constructed at Oak Ridge, Tenn. Harold C. Urey and his colleagues at Columbia University devised an extraction system that worked on the principle of gaseous diffusion, and Ernest O. Lawrence (inventor of the Cyclotron) at the University of California in Berkeley implemented a process involving magnetic separation of the two isotopes.

Next, a gas centrifuge was used to further separate the lighter U-235 from the heavier, non-fissionable U-238. Once all of these procedures had been completed, all that needed to be done was to put to the test the entire concept behind atomic fission (known as "splitting the atom").

Text Only
News
  • RCCF announces Cycle II, 2014 Community Grants awarded The Rush County Community Foundation’s most recent grant cycle awarded funds to benefit three deserving community projects. This is the second of three annual cycles in which Rush County non-profit organizations can apply for funding for their projec

    August 1, 2014

  • Rodden appears in Indy court, then released INDIANAPOLIS — Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.Rodden, charged with lying to federal investigators about his relation

    August 1, 2014

  • Briefs ObituariesRobert Edward Babbs, 80Buster N. Davis, 76Valerie Jo Hall, 67Robert Lee Johnson, Jr., 61Thanks!The Rushville Republican thanks the following persons for their subscription to and support of this newspaper:Eleanor ArnoldMelissa HunterFree Sc

    August 1, 2014

  • nws-rv080114-satisfaction logo Satisfaction: The International Rolling Stones Show RUSHVILLE – The next performance of the 2014 Rushville summer concert series is from Satisfaction: The International Rolling Stones Show with special guest, Dave Muskett. The event is free and will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at Riverside Park Amphitheater

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Whole Foods plans major marketing push NEW YORK (AP) - Whole Foods is getting ready to launch its first national marketing campaign and expand home delivery as it looks to fend off bigger players muscling into the organic and natural foods category.The company, based in Austin, Texas, sai

    August 1, 2014

  • Ohio: 2nd fine levied against prison food vendor COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state on Wednesday announced a second fine against the private vendor that took over the job of feeding inmates last year as the company defended its operations before a prisons oversight committee.The $130,200 fine against

    August 1, 2014

  • Rushville receives Downtown Enhancement Grant Rushville has been graciously approved for a Downtown Enhancement Grant (DEG) funded through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. This revitalization project was announced by Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann last week along with nine other

    August 1, 2014

  • nws-rv080114-vance headshot Out with the old, in with the new A new school year is upon us once again and is bringing new faces to the board.Along with 13 new teachers and a new administrator, Matt Vance will begin his first school year as Superintendent of Rush County Schools.“There is not going to be a lot of

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • rv 080114 trash cutout Residents getting new trash program Residents’ use of new trash and recycling toters, combined with the city’s garbage trucks being retrofitted with hydraulic tippers, signal improved efficiency and a culture shift in Rushville’s trash and recycling collection program.On the week of Au

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast food ambitions in China hurt by safety scares BEIJING (AP) - Already China’s biggest restaurant operator with 4,600 outlets, KFC is pursuing Chinese consumers so avidly it opens two more every day.That dramatic growth comes with a big catch: KFC’s quality control is struggling to keep up.The Lou

    August 1, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.