AUTHORHoddeson, Lillian / Henriksen, Paul W. / Meade, Roger A. / Westfall, Catherine
TITLECritical Assembly: A Technical History of Los Alamos during the Oppenheimer Years, 1943-1945
PUBLISHERCambridge University Press
CITYCambridge, England

This book is a detailed account of the Los Alamos Laboratory, explaining the research and development of various weapons, and the discoveries in nuclear physics, chemistry, and metallurgy that allowed the scientists to design and implement the first atomic bombs, and conceive the idea for the hydrogen bomb. The authors summarize the important years of scientific discovery prior to the atomic bomb’s development and then examine the establishment of Los Alamos and its programs. More specifically, they elucidate the details of the implosions and gun assembly programs, chemistry and metallurgy, uranium and plutonium development, explosives, the hydrogen bomb, critical assemblies, and the Trinity test. The book also investigates the rise of “big science“ as a result of this project and the addition of many large national laboratories.

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