Note Taking and Paraphrasing Homework

Note Taking and Paraphrasing Practice
Directions: 1. Read the following article and take notes on one side of a note taking
sheet. Make sure you only record the important information that would be useful to a
research report. Also fill in as much information as you can on the top of the note taking
sheet. 2. On a separate sheet of paper, paraphrase paragraphs 7, 13, and 15. To
paraphrase mean to explain the information in your own words.
The Manhattan Project
By Mary Lynn Bushong
One of the big fears at the start of World War II was that the Nazis were
working to develop an atomic bomb. Albert Einstein sent a letter to President Roosevelt
encouraging him to fund research into nuclear fission for weapons to stop the Nazis.
In September 1942, General Leslie R. Groves of the Army Corps of Engineers was
chosen to head up the research project. However, before bomb designs could even be
considered, much more had to be learned. The project's original name was the cryptic
"Development of Substitute Materials." Groves didn't care for that name, and he chose
another one. The Army Corps of Engineers had a habit of naming projects after its
headquarters’ city. In this case, it was in New York, and the name became the Manhattan
On September 19, 1942, 32,000 acres in Oak Ridge, Tennessee were purchased to
become a secret laboratory and production site. Then on November 16, property at Los
Alamos became another site.
One of the first experiments carried out for the Manhattan Project was to discover if a
self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction could be produced. The successful experiment on
December 2, 1942 was carried out by an Italian scientist named Enrico Fermi. He carried
out the experiment under the bleachers of Stagg field at the University of Chicago.
In February 1943, the new electromagnetic separation facility to enrich uranium was
begun in Oak Ridge. The calutrons which did the work were monitored by WAACs.
Before uranium could be enriched, however, the correct type had to be found. It was
decided that U (uranium) -235 was right for the job. It was unstable and could sustain a
chain reaction.
A second element, P (plutonium) -239, was another reactive substance that had
potential. The problem was, both of these elements were rare, and it would be difficult to
find as much as was needed for the job.
There are many deposits of uranium in the world, but only 1% of it is U-235. The rest
is useless for making bombs. Separating the isotopes was tried in different ways. One was
to use magnetic separation. The second was through a process called gaseous diffusion. It
turned out to be the most efficient and effective method of producing U-235. The third
way was to use a centrifuge, but it was abandoned before testing.
A third testing site was acquired in Hanford, Washington. The small reactor was too
dangerous to continue using in Chicago, and the Oak Ridge site was too close to
Knoxville, in case something happened to the planned large reactor. The possible fuels
needed to be tested and the bombs themselves designed. The Hanford site was judged to
be remote enough not to be a problem.
Over all, the project produced 3 atomic bombs. The first was "Gadget," a plutonium
bomb that would be exploded at the Trinity test site. The second was "Little Boy," a
uranium bomb. The last was "Fat Man," another plutonium bomb.
In April 1944, there was a possible problem for the project. President Roosevelt
died, and President Truman took office. He was unaware of the Manhattan project and
would have to be informed. No one was sure what he would say—continue or scrap it.
The project continued.
A month after Truman took office, Germany surrendered. The bomb originally
meant for Germany was now going to be directed to Japan.
The first test was scheduled for July 16, 1945. The amount of radioactive fallout was
unknown. There was also no spare bomb, as the test was made using the first plutonium
bomb. The blast turned out to be many times larger than expected.
There were many reasons for using and not using the bombs. The U.S. wanted a
speedy, unconditional surrender. The Japanese military were not in a hurry to do so. The
Americans wanted the war over before the Russians could arrive and complicate the
outcome. Many felt that using the bombs was the last step in defending the United States
against an aggressor.
Those who did not want the bombs to be used were the scientists who built them.
They hoped that a demonstration of the bomb's function would deter the Japanese
military. They understood the potential for injury and death, but by then it was out of
their hands.
On August 6, 1945, "Little Boy" was flown by the B-29 bomber named the Enola
Gay to Japan and dropped over Hiroshima. It killed 66,000 people instantly, and a total of
140,000 were dead by the end of the year, most from radiation poisoning. Three days
later, a second bomb was dropped over Nagasaki. "Fat Man" just missed the city center
but even so, killed about 70,000 people by the end of that year.
The Manhattan Project did result in the deaths of more than 200,000 people, but
violence was not its only legacy. Scientists like Oppenheimer became active in the
regulation of atomic energy. Like all forms of power, it had its negative and positive uses.
Classroom News Magazine – January, 2007