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Atom Bombs: The Top Secret Inside Story of Little Boy and Fat Man
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Top customer reviews
I might mention you will probably read each page of this with Google at hand, as well as any other reference you have. It does the job of connecting dots that other authors have not done.
Example: I have not read any other clear description of the structure of the gun type bomb. It isn't at all what you have in mind.
Significance of the "tamper" isn't clear in other references.
The engineering of the entire process becomes clear with this detail. Many other references cover the details, but this book allows you to understand the engineering by not leaving out all the details of such as the plutonium gun bomb (photos, for example) that was in development and dropped. That sort of "try anything in parallel" resulted in a lot of fits and starts, and you can figure them out from John's book in a very interesting fashion.
According to a review in "The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists," Coster-Mullen has not yet found a publisher willing to print his book, which is unfortunate--it deserves to be issued in bound hardcover form. Hopefully someday it will be. Now, what you get is a spiral-bound 8-1/2x11-inch, 402-page book with nice thick card-stock covers. Although it is printed on a laser printer, the printing quality is very good, and the photos and drawings are clear, sharp and crisp. My order, shipped directly from the author in Wisconsin, showed up very quickly and in perfect condition in a large padded envelope.
Enough about the appearance--what about the content? Quite simply, there is NO better source of information on the technical details of the world's first two nuclear weapons. In the first 88 pages, after touching on the history of the Manhattan Project and the "Silverplate" Boeing B-29 "Superfortress" bombers that were specially modified to carry the weapons, Coster-Mullen describes the design, configuration, materials and assembly procedures of "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" to an unprecedented level of detail. But wait, there's more! The bulk of "Atom Bombs" is made up of appendices containing hundreds of pages of photos, drawings, sketches, patent applications and declassified source documents that reveal nearly every detail about the design, development, construction and testing of "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" that you could ever want to know. This is really "nuts and bolts" stuff, literally. Finally, there are over 30 pages of endnotes, which themselves constitute a unique and valuable resource. You'll know more when you finish reading "Atom Bombs" than you can learn from all of the other books on the subject combined. It gets my highest possible recommendation.
This book hansomely solves that lacking. The author has done an outstanding job of going the extra mile in providing volumnious details of every technical aspect of these weapons. It is a fascinating thing to see the technology behind them in what was truly the cutting edge of science and engineering in 1945.
This is a specialized book for individuals seeking this very specific knowledge and in rewards that seeking generously.
- it was the 'ring' assembly which was fired down the barrel of a naval gun using cordite to impact on the 'disk' assembly in the nose of Little Boy - all previous texts I had read incorrectly assumed that it was the rings which were stationary in the nose and the stack of disks made up a 'bullet' which was the actual projectile.
- "Atom Bombs" even includes the exact weight and number of the rings and disks which made up the 'bullet' and 'target.'
- Extensive references to other little-known books & publications
- Location of other original Little Boy assemblies which were built at Los Alamos but never used, and what happened to them after 9/11
Well worth the price IMHO
Most recent customer reviews
I can't recommend it highly enough.