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From Treasury Vault to the Manhattan Project

The U.S. War Department borrowed 14,000 tons of government silver in its drive to make the world’s first atomic bomb

Cameron Reed

2011-01ReedF1.jpgClick to Enlarge ImageThe U. S. government’s drive to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for the world’s first atomic bomb was an experimental pursuit. Physicist Cameron Reed of Alma College describes how the Manhattan Project built a massive secret facility in Tennessee to scale up technology invented in a University of California at Berkeley laboratory. The technology had roots in the discipline of nuclear physics rather than in warfare. Reed explains why 14,000 tons of silver borrowed the U.S. Treasury was vital to the success of the enterprise.


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