The Making of the Atomic Bomb

by Richard Rhodes

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Topics for Further Study

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• Learn more about the development of methods for harnessing nuclear power as an energy source for peaceful purposes. What scientific research resulted in the construction of nuclear power plants? When was the first nuclear power plant constructed? What types of opposition arose to the development of nuclear power plants? What is the status of nuclear energy as a peacetime power source in the United States today? What about in other nations?

• The research of many scientists throughout the first half of the twentieth century led up to the realization that an atomic bomb was possible. Pick one of these scientists from the Key Figures list in this entry, and learn more about his or her research up to 1942 when the Manhattan Project was organized. How did this scientist’s research contribute to the creation of the first atomic bomb?

• Learn more about the impact of the atomic bomb on Japan. How did the Japanese government and people respond to the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the post-war years?

• What is the status of nuclear weapons in the world today? To what extent does nuclear warfare continue to be a threat to the populations of the world?

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