Science & Engineering of the Manhattan Project

Black and white photo of a large room. A man sits at a counter in the center while another looks at dials on the wall.
Workers In the control room of the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Oak Ridge, 1945.


The Manhattan Project is best known for ushering in the Atomic Age, but the project also ushered in the age of Big Science, science on an industrial scale. Well over 600,000 people, from janitors to construction workers, scientists to security guards, combined their efforts during the Manhattan Project to construct and maintain massive facilities to develop atomic weapons, forever changing the world. But what were the scientific discoveries and engineering feats that made all this possible? Explore the journey of scientists and engineers as you learn how they produced plutonium, enriched uranium, and developed the atomic bombs. Delve into into field of health physics which examines how to keep people safe when they work around radiation. Discover the scientific and engineering legacies from the Manhattan Project that still shape the world today.
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Developing Atomic Weapons

Revolutionary science and engineering fueled the design and construction of the world's first atomic bombs.

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Enriching Uranium

The facilities at Oak Ridge implemented three different methods to enrich uranium.

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Producing Plutonium

The facilities at Hanford were the first to produce plutonium on an industrial scale.

A great illustration of a man looking at the words "Radiation Primer."
Health Physics

An emerging science required new ways ensure safety.

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Beyond Manhattan Project

The Manhattan Project changed the world of science.

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This glossary contains words associated with nuclear science and the Manhattan Project.



Last updated: April 14, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Manhattan Project National Historical Park
c/o NPS Intermountain Regional Office
P.O. Box 25287

Denver, CO 80225-0287


Hanford: 509.376.1647
Los Alamos: 505.661.6277
Oak Ridge: 865.482.1942

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