HIS 329P • History of the Atomic Bomb-W
This course will examine the development of nuclear weapons from the discovery of fission in 1938 to the Oppenheimer security hearings of 1954. We will examine the scientific background behind the development of the atomic bomb, the organization of the Manhattan Project, the decision to use atomic bombs against Japanese cities, and the post-war debates over arms control and the development of the H-bomb.
This is a Substantial Writing Component course. Grades will be based on two 3-page papers (10% each), a 14-16 page paper analyzing and evaluating the American decision to drop atomic bombs on Japanese cities (50%), a final exam (20%), and class participation (10%).
Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Michael Stoff, et al., eds., The Manhattan Project, Michael J. Hogan, ed., Hiroshima in History and Memory, John Hersey, Hiroshima, Herbert York, The Advisors: Oppenheimer, Teller, and the Superbomb, Richard Polenberg, ed., In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, plus a packet of xeroxed readings.