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This is the highly regarded official history of the birth of the atomic age and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The foreword states: No other development in our lifetime has been fraught with such consequences for good or evil as has atomic fission. None has raised such challenging questions for the historian, the economist, the armed forces, the scientists and the engineers. The wartime scientific developments produced significant new techniques in public administration which came to be more widely used after the war, such as the enlistment of university and private contractors to perform new types of government activities. The fresh light this volume throws on the early history of these new techniques may prove helpful in clarifying current problems of conflict of interest in the "military-industrial complex." Unlike the history of the proximity fuze the development of atomic weapons was an international achievement to which great contributions were made by European as well as American scientists and engineers. All were spurred by the agonizing fear that the Nazis were well ahead of the free world in the development of atomic weapons.
CHAPTER 1 - THE INHERITANCE * CHAPTER 2 - IN THE BEGINNING * Discovery of fission; first efforts to gain federal support for nuclear research; growing interest in military potential; all-out investigation of atomic weapons * CHAPTER 3 - EXPLORING THE ROUTES TO THE WEAPON * OSRD efforts to select best production process; expand project 1942 * CHAPTER 4 - COMMITMENT * Decisions leading to the report committing the United States to producing bomb * CHAPTER 5 - RACE FOR THE BOMB: URANIUM 235 * Construction of Oak Ridge; evolution of isotope-separation plants from research through design, development, construction * CHAPTER 6 - RACE FOR THE BOMB: PLUTONIUM * Evolution of the Oak Ridge and Hanford piles and separation plants; selection of Hanford site and construction of plant. * CHAPTER 7 - LABORATORY SET ON A HILL * Selection of the Los Alamos site; organization of weapons laboratory; research and development; implosion and gun; crisis in 1944 * CHAPTER 8 - UNEASY PARTNERSHIP * Problems of the Anglo-American alliance; end of interchange; Churchill's efforts to achieve a completely joint enterprise; Quebec Agreement, resumption of interchange. * CHAPTER 9 - RACE FOR THE BOMB: HOMESTRETCH * Congress and appropriations; procurement of ore and uranium supplies; completing the. production plants and initial operation, 1944-45; final development of weapon. * CHAPTER 10 - THE QUEST FOR POSTWAR PLANNING * Bush-Conant interest in postwar control; Metallurgical Laboratory concern for the future; Roosevelt, Churchill, Hyde Park Aide-Memoire; Britain and the French scientists; Stimson's last advice to Roosevelt * CHAPTER 11 - TERRIBLE SWIFT SWORD * Atomic bombs in the strategy against Japan; sessions of the Interim Committee; scientific opinion and the Scientific Panel; Alamogordo; Potsdam; victory over Japan. * CHAPTER 12 - CONTROLLING THE ATOM: SEARCH FOR A POLICY * Atomic energy in the public forum; Stimson's search for a policy for international control; Army pressure for legislation * CHAPTER 13 - CONTROLLING THE ATOM: FROM POLICY TO ACTION * Rise of the scientists' opposition; McMahon's Special Committee; Army-McMahon dispute; indecision on international control; Truman-Attlee-King conference * CHAPTER 14 - LEGISLATIVE BATTLE * Vandenberg amendment and civilian control; passage of Atomic Energy Act * CHAPTER 15 - INTERNATIONAL CONTROL: LAST BEST HOPE * UN Atomic Energy Commission; drafting the Acheson-Lilienthal plan; Baruch's appointment as U. S. representative * CHAPTER 16 - INTERNATIONAL CONTROL: NO FLESH FOR THE SPIRIT * Bikini test; reactions to the U. S. proposal; explanations of American plan; stalemate with Russians; Wallace controversy * CHAPTER 17 - TIME OF TRANSITION * Appointment of U. S. AEC; Army management of Manhattan project in 1946
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Subtítulo: ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION (AEC) - VOLUME 1, 1939