The atomic bomb - The Atomic Bomb In the mid-1930s an...

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The Atomic Bomb In the mid-1930s an Italian physicist named Enrico Fermi began bombarding nuclei with neutrons, producing heavier radioactive version of these nuclei. Question started to grow among scientists around world as no one could replicate these results. German scientists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman thought that Fermi was wrong and they found that adding neutrons to uranium actually made lighter familiar elements, but they could not explain why this occurred. For this reason they wrote to a former colleague named Lise Meitner. Meitner explained that this was the process of splitting the cell’s nuclei called “fission”, named after the process of cell division. On September 1, 1939 Germany under Hitler’s regime invaded Poland. This offensive was countered by France and England who declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, officially starting World War II. As these events unraveled, Hitler secretly had scientists working to create the first atomic bomb. On August 2, 1939 Albert Einstein wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt warning that the U.S. must not fall behind Germany in the race to create the first atomic bomb. This occurred after Germany recently had selling uranium from Czechoslovakian mine; suggesting Germany was exploring the idea of nuclear fission. Combined pressure from scientists across the board resulted in a $6,000 from the U.S. federal government to begin research on nuclear fission. Although the United States started to make small attempts in the nuclear race it wasn’t until the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 that the program began to make a serious step in becoming the first nuclear power. In 1942 Robert Oppenheimer was appointed to be in charge of the “Manhattan Project”, which was named for the uranium research set up in Manhattan near Columbia University where fission testing had first began. During the spring and summer months got together trusted associates to University of California at Berkeley
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to examine the possibilities of an atomic bomb as chain reaction studies were moved to Chicago. There Leslie Groves took over administrative supervision of the project. Later that year on December 2, 1942 the world’s first controlled chain reaction had occurred in the laboratory in Chicago. As a result of this success President Roosevelt approved a $400,000 project to create the construction of an isotope separation plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and a plutonium production plant in Hanford, Washington. During peak construction employment reached 125,000 people. Oppenheimer though decided the construction site of the actual bomb be Los Alamos, New Mexico. On July 16, 1945 the United States became the first country to explode
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The atomic bomb - The Atomic Bomb In the mid-1930s an...

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