The Manhattan project was the first great project that was carried out in the US. Its goal was to make an atomic bomb that could be used in the war. This weapon was used in fact, as you know on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Manhattan Project had a special historical setting: there was war and people feared that the Germans would be able to finish an atomic bomb before their defeat. It is about a fearsome weapon – there are deep ethical questions associated with it. How did the engineers and scientists deal with these questions? What did the public think of it? How was the public informed about the weapon? The project was led by the American military – how did this fact influence the evolution of the project?

The essential finding that leads to the atomic bomb was the discovery of nuclear fission in 1938. Seven years later the first bombs exploded: the very first test was successful. Is this the standard course of affairs?

General information

This course will take place in the third quartile of your first year. It will be given by Miko Elwenspoek.


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Miko Elwenspoek

Miko Elwenspoek studied physics at the Freie Universität Berlin and completed his studies there with a research on the physics of fluids in 1978. After two years’ work on biophysics, he promoted on the dynamics of fluid metals and alloys at the same university in 1983. He then moved to the Netherlands to do research on the growth of organic cristals from a solution at the (then) Catholic University of Nijmegen.

In 1987, he became a lecturer at the University of Twente and in 1996, a full professor of Transduction Technics as the department of Electrical Engineering. At the moment, he holds the chair of Transducers Science and Technology and is connected to both the MESA+ and IMPACT institute. His research towards microsystems recieved the Simon Steving Meesterschap award in 1997. He is (co)auteur of more than 200 articles in international scientific journals and two books. In 2002, he received the award for best teacher in Electrical Engineering, and later was, among others, responsible for the establishment of the study of Advanced Technology at the UT. Besides, he was one of the founders of the Honours programme and will act as the head of the Excellence programme of the UT for the coming years.



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