History of the Manhattan Project

Event Details


HISTORY OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECT — MOUND SCIENCE AND ENERGY MUSEUM’S Lecture Series will summarize the development of the Atomic Bombs during World War II and the role of the Dayton Project in this effort. The event will take place on Wednesday August 24, 2016, starting at 7:00 PM. The Museum is located at 1075 Mound Rd., Miamisburg, Ohio, and is free and open to the general public. The first portion of the August 2016 program will be a showing of “The Manhattan Project” video, which was a 2002 episode in the History Channel’s Modern Marvels television series. This highly acclaimed documentary provides a concise and nicely balanced history of the making of the atomic bombs during World War II. This narrative explains the physics and the technology behind the atomic bomb in layman’s terms. The technical problems of building a bomb, then in record time put together the industrial resources to provide the necessary uranium and plutonium are summarized. “The Manhattan Project” concludes with the Trinity Test of July 1945 and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

The program highlights interviews with some of the surviving personnel who worked on the Manhattan Project while prominent historians offer a larger perspective on the project. Complimentary review statements include “The documentary is a fair and accurate portrayal of all parties involved. Roosevelt, Truman, Oppenheimer, Groves, and the numerous scientists are given credit for the astounding accomplishments, and consequent world-altering impact”.

In the second part of this event, Kenneth Phipps, a director of the MSEM Board, will give a brief presentation of the top secret Dayton Project that processed the polonium metal for fabrication of the Urchin devices used to initiate the Trinity and Nagasaki explosions of the Manhattan Project. Mr. Phipps received a BA in Chemistry from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1960. He was employed at Mound from 1960 to 1992 as a Development Chemist, then as a Development Supervisor. He also served six years as SW Building Manager.