Gerardo Flores. Joshua Wyatt Enrico Fermi on Manhattan Project



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Gerardo Flores. Joshua Wyatt

Enrico Fermi on Manhattan Project

1.21.15
This project uses the 2015 National History Day theme, “Leadership & Legacy in (Chicago/Illinois) History”

Project Category: Website



  1. Thesis Statement: Enrico Fermi was a very important scientist in history due to his discovery of uranium, a key element in the atomic bomb, his innovation in nuclear science with the first controlled nuclear reaction, and the biggest impact in warfare because of the power the atomic bomb holds around the world.

Summary of Project: The project is based on the Manhattan Project, which focuses on Enrico Fermi’s contributions to it through his own discoveries in science, physics and chemistry, as well as his leadership displayed as a Head Director of the Chicago Research that will be touched to connect to the NHD requirements. The impact the atomic bomb holds in warfare around the world will be discussed as part of a legacy, good or bad, that Fermi left behind. People use atomic bombs, today, as a last resort to end a war. However, before any of this could happen, Fermi’s research was the best thing that happened for the atomic bomb. This is important historically because of the legacy the atomic bomb still holds in the world as far as warfare and nuclear war. The importance we can learn through our research is the role Chicago played in the atomic bomb. One of the most brilliant minds in Chicago led to the makings of the atomic and hydrogen bomb, which in return, introduced a new era of warfare.

3. The Manhattan Project piece that we are talking about will connect to the NHD theme by the leadership that Fermi displayed with the research left behind in Chicago, such as his positions as head physicist and director. As far as legacy, Enrico Fermi is a prominent figure in warfare for his contributions to the atomic bomb partially crafted in Chicago.

4. A. The historical question we started with was the Manhattan Project, in general, affecting the whole world. Once decided that was too broad, the question was narrowed down to Enrico Fermi and his role in Chicago. Through our research we came across a very specific detail in the creation of the atomic bomb who was Enrico Fermi, a very key person to the atomic bomb.

B. For the argument, the sources that we have found are letters, government documents to and from the President and government officials, and newspaper articles.



C. One source, in particular, was a petition signed by 68 members of the lab in Chicago, trying to convince the President to use extreme caution when making any decision on when and why to deploy the atomic bomb. The source is a major contributor in showing Chicagoan scientists did not want the bomb to be dropped due to future atomic programs and rival countries finding their own atomic bomb.

D. We have not visited another library, school, museum, etc. in person, but we have sources from Chicago University Archives and other databases.


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