These two volumes constitute a record of the technical, administrative, and policy-making activities of the Los Alamos Project (Project Y) from its inception under the Manhattan District through the development of the atomic bomb (Vol. I), and during the period following the end of World War II until the Manhattan District relinquished control to the Atomic Energy Commission as of January 1947 (Vol. II).
Project Y, the Los Alamos Project, has been one of a group of organizations known collectively as the Development of Substitute Materials project, (DSM), devoted to the wartime development of the atomic bomb. This branch of the DSM organization was created early in the year 1943. During the period of its existence it has been the center of activities connected with bomb development and production, as distinguished from the development and production of nuclear explosive materials.
The history of all DSM activities possesses a peculiar interest and importance, not only because of the remarkable achievements and potentialities of nuclear technology, but also because of the wartime character and motivation of its initial development. Because of its large social cost, a scrupulous accounting of the entire venture is required. Project Y has been, of itself, small compared to the other DSM projects. It has, however, occupied a crucial position. The wartime success of the entire undertaking has depended upon its success.
The nature of the present chronicle of Los Alamos is thus determined by the requirement that there exist a careful accounting of its technical, administrative, and policy-making activities. This document is a record, not an interpretation of events. Within the limitations thus implied, however, it has not been forgotten that the events recorded have taken place within a wider context, the evolution of organized scientific research and of world technology. The problems of organization and policy that lie here, sharpened by the advent of control over nuclear energies, will call for the most searching interpretation and analysis. It is hoped that in this record of fact nothing has been omitted or slighted that may be of interest to those who seek light upon questions still to be answered.
Introduction * Objective And Organization * Reasons For New Project * Location * Organization * Initial Personnel, Material, Construction * Technical Introduction * The April Conferences * Theoretical Background * Development Of Program * Introduction * Theoretical Program * Program Of Experimental Physics * Program Of Chemistry And Metallurgy * Ordnance Program * Report Of The Reviewing Committee Summary * The British Mission * The Period April 1943 To August 1944, General Review * Technical Review To August 1944 * Theoretical Division * Experimental Physics Division * Ordnance Division * Chemistry And Metallurgy * The Period August 1944 To August 1945 - General Review * The Period August 1944 To August 1945 - Technical Review * The Theoretical Division * Research Division * F Division * Ordnance Division * Weapon Physics Division * Explosives Division * Chemistry And Metallurgy * Project Trinity * Project Alberta * Uranium Purification * Uranium Metallurgy * Hydrides * Uranium Reduction * Uranium Alloys * Plutonium Purification * The Wet Process * The Dry Process * Recovery of Plutonium * Plutonium Metallurgy * Plutonium Reduction * Miscellaneous Metallurgy * Boron Compacts * Beryllia Compacts * Crucible and Refractory Research * Miscellaneous Service Activities * Radiochemistry * Foil Preparation * Chemistry of Initiators * Sensitive Counters * Water Boiler Chemistry * Radiolanthanum * Analytical Methods * Spectrochemical Methods * Colorimetric Methods * Gravimetric Methods * Assay Methods * Gasometric Analysis * Cryogeny * Neutron Number Measurements * Spontaneous Fission Measurements * Fission Spectrum * Fission Cross Sections * Scattering Experiments * Multiplication Experiments * Implosion Studies