Leona Woods was the only woman physicist on the team which built the world’s first nuclear reactor as part of the Manhattan Project. She became a mother during the Project but hid her pregnancy as not to miss work. Afterwards as a professor, she authored >200 papers in physics and astrophysics.
The details of the Manhattan Project were so secret that many workers had no idea why they did their jobs. A laundrywoman had a dedicated duty to “hold up an instrument and listen for a clicking noise” without knowing why. It was a Geiger counter testing the radiation levels of uniforms.
Bohemian Grove is a restricted 2700 acre campground in California that is only available for the world’s elite. It is described as a private vacation getaway yet it is famous for hosting the Manhattan Project planning meeting in 1942, that led to the creation of the atomic bomb.
Deadline is 1944 sci-fi story about the use of nuclear bomb. It includes topics such as uranium enrichment, methods of isotopic separation and moral questions about the weapon. Author had no knowledge of Manhattan project and came up with the idea from scientific journals.
One of the few female physicists on the Manhattan Project moved to Communist China afterwards. She spent the rest of her life as a farmer in a small village outside Beijing.
While bored during his work with the Manhattan Project Richard Feynman would amuse himself by picking the locks of his colleagues confidential file cabinets and placing prank notes, his colleagues believed a spy had infiltrated the project.
During World War II, the multi-national Alsos Mission captured and dismantled a German experimental nuclear reactor.
Scientist Louis Slotin died while working on the Manhattan Project. He accidentally dropped a hemisphere of beryllium on a plutonium core; witnesses saw glowing blue light and felt a heat wave. He died nine days later. The plutonium core was later nicknamed the “demon core”.
Manhattan Project mathematician Richard Hamming was asked to check some arithmetic by a fellow researcher. Hamming planned to give it to a subordinate until he realized it was a set of calculations to see if the nuclear detonation would ignite the entire Earth’s atmosphere.