Wright Library and the Oakwood Historical Society continue the 2020 Far Hills Speaker Series with a presentation by Bob Bowman on the 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bomb: An Overview of the Manhattan Project During World War II. The event will take place as a Zoom webinar. Please register here to attend. If you have not used Zoom before, you will be prompted to install the Zoom client. Additional help is available here.
On July 16, 1945 the detonation of the first nuclear fission device, called the “Trinity” test, occurred in Alamagordo, New Mexico. The following month, the atomic bombs “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan, respectively, that led to the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II. This presentation will summarize how the Manhattan Engineer District designed, developed, and produced these devices from theoretical concepts for the fission chain reaction in under three years. This vast and highly classified project involved thousands of workers and the construction of major facilities in several locations and also involved numerous supporting organizations. The roles and accomplishments made by a few key individuals as well as some more obscure contributors such as the Dayton Project will be presented. Brief descriptions will be given of the science and engineering issues that were addressed for the two types of atomic bombs used against Japan.
Speaker Biography: Dr. Bob Bowman is a former Monsanto Mound senior research staff member who retired in 2018 from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (TN) and now operates a consulting service on metal hydride technology. His other prior science & engineering positions were at The Aerospace Corporation (El Segundo, CA), Aerojet ElectroSystems (Azusa, CA), and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA). He was also an Adjunct Professor in Metallurgical Engineering at the U. Utah and in 2019 he was a Visiting Professor at the Helmut Schmidt University (Hamburg Germany). Bob is a member of several historical organizations and is currently on the board of directors for the Mound Museum of Science and Energy Association in Miamisburg OH.