What is Oppenheimer’s Manhattan Project?

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The Manhattan Project is a historical event that changed modern warfare. Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer follows the life of American Physicist, Robert J. Oppenheimer, who helped the United States, develop the first nuclear weapons. Oppenheimer is also known as the ‘Father of the atomic bomb’. 

Cillian Murphy plays the role of Oppenheimer. This is his 6th movie with Christopher Nolan and the first in a lead role. Along with Cillian Murphy, Hollywood A-listers like Emily Blunt, Rami Malek, Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, and Robert Downey Jr. also star in the movie. Oppenheimer is all set for a theatrical release on July 21, 2023. 

The Manhattan Project (Trinity Test)

The Manhattan Project was a top-secret research and development program during World War II that aimed to develop the first atomic weapon. The project began in 1939 when physicists Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, warning him of potential nuclear applications in the military. Concerned about Nazi Germany developing nuclear weapons prompted the United States Government to initiate the Manhattan Project. 

Manhattan Project
© New York Public Library Picture Collection.

The Manhattan project began in 1942 under Brigadier General Leslie R. Groves and 3 primary research and production sites were established.

  1. Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico
  2. Oak Ridge in Tennessee
  3. Hanford in Washington State

Los Alamos Laboratory was led, by Robert J. Oppenheimer and was responsible for the technical aspects of designing and building the bomb. Along with Robert, Richard Feynman, Enrico Fermi, and Niels Bohr were also part of the Manhattan Project. 


In July 1945, the first successful test of an atomic bomb, code-named Trinity, took place at Alamogordo, New Mexico. The test was a success and shortly after the United States dropped two atomic bombs (Little Boy and Fat Man) on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The devastating impact of these bombings led to Japan’s surrender on August 15, 1945, ending World War II.

The Trinity Test

The Manhattan Project had a profound and lasting impact on the world. It ushered in a new age of nuclear warfare, forever changing the nature of War. The Project went on to make further advancements in Nuclear technology before assimilating into the United States Atomic Energy Commission in January 1947.

Source – Britannica

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Levin Plassery
Levin Plassery
Hello, My name's Levin, out here navigating through typos and writer's block, one word at a time. Ps, the glass in the picture is not a sign of my crippling alcoholism which has resorted me to writing, am only 21.