The Atomic Bomb: The Early Twentieth Century

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Whenever somebody even happens to mention the atomic bomb, your mind automatically conjures up images of bodies with their skin peeling off, flattened plains where cities used to be, gaseous mushroom clouds that envelop the sky, and most of all, the most effective, lethal, and powerful weapon ever used in wartime. The atomic bomb has the power to bring cities to mounds of rubble, valuable resources to worthless powder and nations to their knees. The atomic bomb however, is not only potent in its physical destructive power. The threat of the atomic bomb lies in its psychological and mental impact. Just the fear of this weapon alone changed the world - for better or worse - during the twentieth century. The atomic bomb changed the way we view …show more content…
With the likes of Einstein, Bohr and Rutherford changing the world we view our world - from most small to most large - day by day. In 1942, while World war II is in full swing, the most brilliant minds pulled from the United States and refugees from Nazi Europe headed to the remote Los Alamos, New Mexico, under the leadership of Robert Oppenheimer, to design and build the most destructive weapon of all time. Across the top ranks of the U.S. military, fears were high that Germany was doing the same thing. Designing the atomic bomb was going to be one of the most difficult scientific projects ever attempted. Over the course of two and a half years, engineers developed countless designs and theories, however the final design was a true masterpiece of engineering. Unlike the Hydrogen bomb, which uses nuclear fusion, the Atomic bomb uses nuclear fission. According to The Atomic Heritage Foundation“The isotopes uranium-235 and plutonium-239 were selected by the atomic scientists because they readily undergo fission … When a uranium-235 atom absorbs a neutron and fissions into two new atoms, it releases three new neutrons and some binding energy … This causes a nuclear chain reaction.” According to The Atomic Archive, “The first atomic bomb was 25 feet long, 10 feet in diameter, and weighed 214 tons.” On July 16th, 1945, the engineers detonated the first atomic bomb, named Jumbo, in the …show more content…
The two rival superpowers were soon embroiled in an arms race, however this sort soon came to have the power to extinguish human life from the planet. This ability helped to shape the nature of the Cold War, a conflict we know as a bitter, secretive, tense and potentially deadly rivalry. Both sides began to stockpile so many atomic bombs, that if one were to be set off, it would domino into entire arsenals being fired by both sides, a concept called mutually assured destruction. Thankfully this never occurred. However, the invention of the atomic bomb may have actually helped to keep some sort of tense peace during the Cold War. Its sheer destructive capability deterred the Americans and Soviets from really ever firing a shot against one another. The most destructive weapon of all time, may have actually saved millions of

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