Midterm exam



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THE MANHATTAN PROJECT FTS, FALL 2011

MIDTERM EXAM

These instructions are consistent with page 7 of your syllabus, which you should also consult!


Answer three questions below, choosing one question from each section; each answer will be weighted equally. The total length of your answers should NOT exceed six (6) double-spaced, typewritten pages with normal font size and margins. Cite references to Rhodes, Powers, and Kelly in your answers when appropriate; no outside research is allowed. You may answer the questions in any order. You may discuss the exam questions in general terms with your classmates; the final product should represent your own, independent work. Type the honor code on your paper as well, to indicate that you have agreed to these terms.

THIS EXAM IS DUE BY 5 pm ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1; it may be turned in earlier.

PART I: POLITICS Answer one of the two questions

1. Describe how Hitler’s anti-semitism policy was a major asset for the Allied powers’ efforts to develop a fission bomb.

2. Compare the concept of secrecy in government between 1) Hitler’s Germany, and 2) either Great Britain or the United States. To what extent did each of your two chosen country’s governmental structure affect its initial efforts to build an atomic bomb?



PART II: SCIENCE Answer one of the two questions


3. Compare the fission bomb effort and knowledge base of the British MAUD team with that of the U.S. fission researchers and the German researchers as of December, 1941.
4. Explain the importance of three of the following scientific contributions for the Manhattan Project: 1) the cyclotron; 2) Joliot-Curie discovery of artificial radioactivity; 3) Fermi’s neutron bombardment experiments in Italy; 4) the Hahn-Strassmann experiments and Frisch-Meitner calculations; 5) the discovery of plutonium.


PART III: ETHICS & VALUES Answer one of the two questions


5. Compare the ethical character and leadership abilities of three of these figures: Bohr, Heisenberg, Oppenheimer, Szilard.
6. Compare the personal values and motivating beliefs that Oppenheimer, Bethe, and Szilard brought to the Manhattan Project.


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