History Channel's "The Manhattan Project" offers a concise, nicely balanced history of the making of the atomic bomb in just under 50 minutes. This 2004 episode of Modern Marvels manages to explain the physics and the technology behind the bomb in layman's terms, while crafting a suspenseful narrative around the costly ($30 billion in current dollars) military-civilian collaboration. "Manhattan Project" begins with the state of atomic science as the Second World War got underway in 1939, and why the United States decided it should build a bomb before Nazi Germany could. At the center of the narrative are Army General Leslie Groves and scientist Robert Oppenheimer, a yin and yang combination who together solved the technical problems of building a bomb, then in record time put together the industrial resources to provide the necessary uranium and plutonium. "The Manhattan Project" concludes with the Trinity Test of July 1945 and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.