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The Bomb Heard 'Round the World : A Research Essay on the Manhattan Project

Uploaded by BigBluLancer66 on Mar 13, 2001

On the morning of August 6, 1945, a B-29 bomber named Enola Gay flew over the industrial city of Hiroshima, Japan and dropped the first atomic bomb ever used in war. The city went up in flames caused by the immense power equal to about 20,000 tons of TNT. The project was a success. Hundreds of thousands died and still more were wounded. This was the final triumph that finally brought Japan to surrender. The effects of the bomb are still being seen but there is no doubt that the atomic bomb project was the greatest scientific feat of the 20th century. There was an unprecedented assemblage of civilian, military, and scientific, minds at work. Their pertinacious, intense, and theological ideas helped shape a new era. Unknowingly they also help shape what could have been the end of earth its self. This dim future was best described by Albert Einstein, the man responsible for starting the atomic bomb project in the US, "I know not with what weapons World War 3 will be fought with but I do know that world war 4 will be fought with sticks and stones." As one can see begin serious controversies concerning its sheer power and destruction began as soon as the first bomb was used on Hiroshima.

The Manhattan Project was the code name for the US effort during World War II to produce the atomic bomb. It was appropriately named for the Manhattan Engineer District of the US Army Corps of Engineers, because much of the early research was done in New York City (Badash). Sparked by refugee physicists in the United States, the program was slowly organized after German scientists discovered nuclear fission in 1938. Many US scientists expressed the fear that Hitler would attempt to build a fission bomb. In theory this "fission bomb" would be more destructive than all the explosives they had in their hands (Rhode 340). Frustrated with the idea that Germany might produce an atomic bomb first, Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner asked Albert Einstein, a famous scientist during that time, to use his influence and write a letter to president FDR. The letter pleaded for support to further research the power of nuclear fission and warned the president of the unfathomable destruction Hitler could cause (Badash). His letters were a success, and President Roosevelt established "The Fission Bomb Project" (Brown & Macdonald 140).

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Uploaded by:   BigBluLancer66

Date:   03/13/2001

Category:   World War II

Length:   8 pages (1,889 words)

Views:   2515

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