|The K-25 gaseous diffusion plant: the single largest and most expensive Manhattan Project site.|
When WW2 started, there were only a few crackpots (like Albert E.) who thought it might be possible to build an atomic bomb. Basically, they knew almost nothing about the subatomic world. Oh, they knew about neutrons and protons and electrons, but they only had vaguest ideas about how all these things played together. That little bit of knowledge and the idea that a bomb might be possible along with the impetus of war was enough for the powers to be to jump in with both feet. Okay, they started with one toe, but it quickly ramped up.
|Expenditures for the Manhattan Project sites, through the end of 1945|
They dropped the bombs in the August of 1945, two and one-half years after they started construction of the biggest factories in the world.
I am having a hard time getting my head around the idea that these guys went ahead with this project to the tune of billions of dollars when they didn't even know if it would work. I guess we can chalk one up for science, and the religion thereof.
P.S. Why are some people writing Manhattan with the 2nd A in parentheses, like this: Manh(A)ttan? Is that supposed to look like a bomb? Several sites have done this, but no one has offered an explanation. I think it's dumb. YMMV.