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Atomic Bomb 11 Essay, Research Paper

Nations are ranked by how much power they contain. The greater the amount of power the greater the nation is. During the 1940 s, many great events help the United States to attain a vast amount of power. They had just entered World War II on the allies side, and had devised a plan to triumph over their enemies. The United States wanted to develop a weapon of mass destruction, insuring victory and global power. The United States developed the atomic bomb as a way to strike back at those who opposed them.They declared war on Japan in 1941, after the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. honoring the Tripartite Pact . Now that the U.S had entered the war against the Axis Alliance, they needed something that could help themselves and their allies to win the war. A top-secret project, in which only the U.S. new about called the Manhattan Project, was now in effect. This project was what the U.S. was hoping would win the war for them. The Manhattan Project was and is still one of the most secretive projects ever created in United States history. The purpose of the Manhattan Project was simple: to build, test, and unleash its power if necessary. Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves were the two men put in charge of this mission. These two men along with the top scientists from around the country were brought together to construct the most deadly weapon known to man. The project originated in the Pentagon in 1942 when the White House told General Groves, he was to lead the Manhattan Project. World War II had already been occurring for three years when the Nazis, after being victorious in Europe, declared war on the United States. This was nine months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In September of that year, Groves met with Leo Szilard, a brilliant scientist, and asked him if making the atomic bomb was possible. Szilard told him how an atomic bomb would work, but also that it is impossible to build. General Groves only wanted to hear that an atomic bomb was conceivable in theory and then he knew to start the project. General Groves was in charge of the military or security part of the project, while Oppenheimer was in charge of the organization of the scientists and ideas. At times, Oppenhiemer and Groves had some nasty arguments over policies. Even though Groves was the one who reported to Washington, Oppenheimer had more power and Groves was aware of this. If they had a disagreement, Oppenheimer would threaten to leave the project and take his scientists with him. Groves knew if this occurred then the project would never be finished. So, Grooves most always ended up agreeing or letting Oppenheimer do what ever he wanted to do. In April of 1943, an isolated area was being built in Las Alamos, New Mexico. This was going to be the place where the bomb was going to be designed and produced. The borders consisted of barbed wire fence accompanied by guard dogs. Many laboratories, storage buildings, shelters, hospitals, dining halls, and other buildings were found inside these borders, also. One thing that was not found inside these borders though were woman, not even the wives of the scientists. No scientist was allowed to talk to anyone outside the camp about what they saw, heard, tasted, or even smelled. Everything they knew belonged to the army now. Everything they knew from here on was highly confidential. Their job was to create the atomic bomb and to do nothing else but that. They were to refer to bomb as the gadget or device for security reasons. The scientists were given 19 months to complete their mission. Most of them complained that it could not be done, that it was not enough time. Under the leadership of Oppenheimer the work and research began. After several days, their work got them nowhere. They were faced with the problems such as weight, velocity, and detonation. Late one night, while eating an orange and talking to another scientist, Seth Neddermeyer (a scientist) thought of an idea called implosion. He got the idea from the orange he was eating. This was probably the one idea that the atomic bomb is centered around. Without implosion, the atomic bomb could not be created. When he squeezed the orange, juice squirted out or an outwards explosion. If you can reverse this process, then the explosion goes in creating an even bigger force. This theory applies to Plutonium. Implosion occurs causing a chain reaction, which in return causes an outwards explosion. If an inwards explosion occurred, the Plutonium atoms would split apart creating the biggest explosion known to man. The problem was now creating an inward explosion. By this time, turmoil started to arise inside the camp. Many scientists began complaining about the drastic security measures that were being taken. Things such as the guard dogs and the FBI talking to the families of the scientists bothered them greatly. Also the scientists feared that Germany was ahead of them in creating the bomb. Not helping the situation, Oppenheimer had an affair with a Communist woman named Jean who he had known for quite some time. The army learned of this and under General Groves orders, was to keep it quiet. If word got out about this, Oppenheimer would be done and so would the whole project along with their work. Groves knew this and that is why it was kept a secret. Oppenheimer was told to end this relationship immediately. In November of 1944, Groves received a message that Germany was not even close and never was close to creating the atomic bomb. Groves did not tell a soul about this news; for fear that the scientists would quit working on the bomb because they thought they had no reason to go on. Groves figured if the United States was the first country to create the atomic bomb, then we would have an extreme advantage over other countries. When one has a weapon of mass destruction and the other does not, someone is in a lot of trouble. The closer the scientists got to the discovery of the bomb, the more they doubted the use of the bomb. They did not like the idea that they were creating a bomb that was going to be used to kill thousands of innocent people. At one point, a petition was drawn up to stop the research and the whole project. By the time the petition was looked at by everyone, the atomic bomb was completed. The only job left, was to test it. Many people argued over whether to test it or not. General Groves believed it should be tested while Oppenheimer did not think it should be tested. They both agreed to leave the decision up to the President, Harry Truman. Who decided to test the bomb. The bomb was tested at Trinity Test Site in New Mexico on July 16, 1945 and was a complete success . The Americans finally completed building their first atomic bomb. The scientists held a parade in happiness, not only for successfully completing the project, but being able to go home and see their families and lead a normal life. As the testing went on, they learned that they had created a very potent weapon. There was an intense light that brightened the distant mountains, a sudden wave of heat, and then a tremendous roar as the shock wave echoed in the valley. This was the first atomic test recorded in the history of the world. The man who is mainly credited for inventing the atomic bomb was physicist Albert Einstein. Two months after Einstein’s incredible invention, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. One bomb was nicknamed Little Boy, which killed 70,000 people, including soldiers of the second Japanese Army in a town called Hiroshima. The second bomb, which was called Fat Man, killed about 39,000 people in Nagasaki on August 15. After the bombings in Japan, Japan surrendered to the U.S. in order to preserve what was left of the country. In 1949, scientists believed that only the United States had the resources to produce nuclear bombs, in fact they were wrong. During that year on August 29, Russian scientists introduced its first nuclear explosion in the Ust-urt desert between the Caspian and Aral seas. The United States learned that Russia was indeed exploding nuclear weapons by testing the telltale fission particles in the rainwater collected by the navy. Russia had exploded even more nuclear bombs during the following years unexpectedly. The United States had reason to believe Robert Oppenheimer secretly gave Russia top-secret information on how to make nuclear weapons. During that time not only had Russia exploded atomic bombs but, other countries exploded as well. Some countries like Great Britain, India, and China has tested their own nuclear bombs. As a result, the United States warned all countries not to test any atomic bombs in the air because research did in the U.S. navy shows that the ozone layer was getting affected. This is why the United States had taken strong measures against nuclear explosions. Although the U.S. could of also had other intentions, at the time they had the most information with this new technology. They could of wanted it all to themselves to prove superior to all those around them. After the completion of the atomic bomb, the United States had been trying furiously to develop a more powerful nuclear weapon during the early 1950’s. The United States knew that after the two horrific explosions in Japan, countries all over the world had been trying to develop their own type of bomb. The U.S. also knew that the Russians where competing with the U.S. over nuclear power. During the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, the Russians had been developing power plants that would develop nuclear fission bombs. The U.S. knew that if they didn’t find a more powerful weapon other than the atomic bomb, Russia would try to take over the world. Scientists finally found a new weapon called the Hydrogen Bomb. The Hydrogen Bomb and the atomic bomb were both alike in many ways, only that the hydrogen bombs weigh 50,000 tons, three times stronger. Truman was delighted to hear the good news that scientists had developed a more powerful bomb. Truman was so delighted about the news that he set out a date to test the new bomb. On July 24, 1946 in the far oceans near Bikini Atoll, the hydrogen bomb was ready to be tested. The bomb was set underwater a few hundred miles away from the Bikini beach. Scientists who witnessed the blasts said that the blast was so big that the island, which was hundreds of miles away from the blasting sight, had been hit with its powerful shock waves, destroying homes from its path. Russians who over heard the news that the Americans had found a new bomb detonated their own nuclear bomb in Siberia causing worldwide tensions. The president needed to stop detonating bombs because the planet earth has been seriously affected. This is why the United States stepped up to establish a disarmament plan for all nuclear-armed countries. In other words if countries continued to use Nuclear weapons such as atomic bombs, thermonuclear bombs, Hydrogen bombs, these different types of bombs could literally eat away the ozone layer causing the sun to give off rays that can cause cancer and other health problems. This is not the only problem that can occur if countries continue to test nuclear bombs in the air and on the ground. Secondly the navy has reported problems in our atmosphere. Scientists believe that the planet earth has a hole the size of United States multiplied by 10. This means that if a meteorite had fallen from the sky, there would be a good chance that it could hit a heavily populated city due to the nuclear bomb explosions done recently. Third, our rain has been contaminated with radioactive chemicals from the atomic explosions done in recent years. Radioactive rain can cause cancer and other health problems for millions of people, especially if radioactive rain falls on a heavily populated country. Truman was the man who gave the order to use the atomic bombs in Japan. I regarded the bomb as a military weapon and never had any doubt that it should be used. The top military advisers to the President recommended its use, and when I talked to [Prime Minister] Churchill he unhesitatingly told me that he favored the use of the atomic bomb if it might aid the end of the war. Even though Truman had the intent to use this weapon, he still needed to be reassured by people, so he could live with his actions. The bomb had many affects on the Japanese people. Not only did the bomb kill a lot people on impact, but it also took the lives of many civilians in the years to come. The bomb created radiation in the areas in which they were detonated, and radiation took its affect on all those who came into contact with it. She died in 1957 after complaining of severe fatigue. I think she died of neurosis. The doctor told me she had poison in her blood. I think it was due to radiation. This is from a random man who s wife had died due to radiation. She went to the bombed area to try and find her son who was injured. She found him, but he died a couple days later. It brought the mother much grief, she lost her son to radiation, and then the radiation took her own life. The atomic bomb was a great advance in American technology, but was it worth it. Was the creation of this weapon worth the effects this weapon could produce? A weapon that when used now would destroy the earth as we know it. We created a weapon in which could kill us all. It is one creation in which people might regret it ever existed. These advances were pursued because Nations wanted power, but what good is power if there is nobody to share it with.


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