Atomic Bomb

Atomic Bomb

On August 2, 1939 Albert Einstein wrote
to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This was right before the start
of World War 2. In this letter Einstein and several other scientists
told Roosevelt of the efforts Hitler was making to purify U-235 in which
he hoped to make an atomic bomb. This is when the United States started
the Manhattan Project. This was the project of making an atomic bomb.

In the project many brilliant minds were
used. The most famous of these people is Robert Oppenheimer.

He was the major person behind this project. He basically ran the
operation and oversaw the hole project from start to completion.

Other great people like H.C. Urey, Ernest Lawrence, Isidor Rabi, and Ken

Bainbridge also worked on the project and put just as much into it.

The most complicated process was the process
of getting enough uranium to sustain a chain reaction. In that time
it was very hard to extract U-235. The ration of Uranium ore to the

Uranium metal is 500:1. Then out of this Uranium metal 99% of it
is U-238 which is non-fissionable. Finding a process to refining
the Uranium was the first step in developing the atomic bomb.

A massive enrichment laboratory/plant
was built in Oak ridge, Tennessee. H.C. Urey and other associates
at Columbia University devised a system that separated the Uranium using
the principle of gaseous diffusion. Ernest Lawrence shortly following
this invention came up with a process using magnetic separation. This process
was quicker then the first. After the Uranium metal was separated
form the Uranium ore it is put into a gas centrifuge to separate the U-235
and U-238. The first step of building an atomic bomb was completed.

They now had the U-235 to build a bomb.

Over the course of six years, 1939-1945,
scientist worked on equations to make the U-235 into a bomb. It took
some of the greatest minds to make these formulas. At the end of
the six years and after spending $2 billion they had what they thought
was a working bomb or a very expensive dud.

At 5:29:45 (Mountain War Time) on July
the 16th, 1945 the "Gadget", the code name for the bomb, was tested in
the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico. This was the first atomic
bomb ever detonated. The Gadget caused a white blaze to stretch across
the skies of New Mexico. The light then turned orange as the fire
ball started upwards at 360 ft/second. A characteristic mushroom
cloud of radioactive vapor materialized at 30,000 ft. All that remained
of the soil were fragments of jade green radioactive glass. The heat
reaches 7,000 degrees F. It is so hot that the soil turns into glass.

The Gadget worked. People from a nearby community said the
saw the sun rise twice that day. It is said that a blind girl 120
miles away saw the flash.

The creators of the Gadget had mixed
feelings. Some felt that the equilibrium in nature was upset.

Others were glad that the project had succeeded. Robert Oppenheirmer
was excited that the project was a success, but quoted a fragment from

Bhagavad Gita. "I am become death the destroyer of worlds."

Several of the creators signed a petition against releasing the monster.

Atomic bombs have only been used twice
in warfare. The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

It was a Uranium bomb that weighed over 4.5 tons. It was a 20 kiloton
bomb that was nicknamed Little Boy. It was dropped on Hiroshima on

August 6th, 1945. The Aioi Bridge was the targeting spot. It
was to expelled 1,800 ft above the city. At 08:15 the bomb was dropped
from the Enola Gay. At 08:16 hours the bomb exploded 2,000 ft above

Hiroshima . It was only 800ft off target. It instantly killed

66,000 people and 69,000 people were injured. Total vaporization
was up to ½ mile away from the center of the explosion. Total
destruction ranged up to 1 mile away from the center. Severe damaged
ranged up to 2 miles away and anything flammable burned up to 2.5 miles

The second bomb that was dropped was three
days after the first bomb. This one was a plutonium bomb. Plutonium
does the same thing as Uranium, but it is manmade so they donít have to
go through the process of refining the Uranium. This bomb was only
a 10 kiloton bomb. This bombs nickname was Fat Man. The Fat

Man was dropped on Nagasaki. The bomb missed its target point by
over a mile and a half, but it still killed 39,000 people and injured 25,000
people. It destroyed over half the city.

The Little Boy