What Are The Positive And Negative Aspects Of The Atomic Bomb?
Length: 1477 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)
The atomic bomb, also known as the atom bomb or fission bomb, a weapon whose explosive power originates from the fission of atomic nuclei, a reaction in which an atomic nucleus splits in two. When the nucleus of a heavy atom, such as the element uranium-235, which is what the atom bomb is made out of, is split, a certain amount of mass disappears and an equivalent amount of energy is released. This was expressed by the equation E=mc2 (energy = mass times the speed of light squared).This is the energy that powers an atom bomb. On a pound-for-pound basis, the U-235 in an atomic bomb can release on the order of one million times as much energy as TNT, a high explosive. The atomic bomb is the first nuclear powered bomb ever used. The atom bomb was created by people that worked in the Manhattan Project. The explosion generated Alpha, Beta, Gamma and neutron rays. Alpha and Beta rays were absorbed by the air and did not reach to the ground. Gamma and neutron rays were strong enough to reach the ground; thus it was these rays that affected people. Within 1/16 mile radius from the explosion center, most people died within a few hours (even in the case where they were not directly exposed to the heat or wind). Within a half mile radius, most people died within 30 days after the explosion. The people who entered the area within a half mile radius from the explosion center in the first 100 hours after the explosion were also affected by the remaining radiation on the ground. Fortunately it has not been observed that the long term effects of radiation affected A-bomb survivors nor that a radiation exposure caused genetic damages. The United States made Japan surrender due to the atomic bomb, which caused many deaths and destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The atomic bomb left Hiroshima and Nagasaki in ruins.
The Manhattan Project was the code name for the U.S. government's secret project that was established before World War II and culminated in the development of the atomic bomb.
In 1938 many people feared that Hitler would build an atomic bomb after word spread that German scientist had split the uranium atom (fission). However, one of Hitlers mistakes was his persecution of Jewish scientists. This persecution resulted in numerous scientists seeking asylum in the United States.
One such scientist was Albert Einstein. Einstein, abandoning his belief in pacifism, urged then president Franklin Roosevelt to develop an atomic bomb before Hitler did. Eventually Roosevelt agreed and the United States attempt at building the atomic bomb was codenamed "The Manhattan Project". The Manhattan Project was carried out in extreme secrecy. By 1945, the project had nearly 40 laboratories and factories which employed approximately 200,000 people. Among these employees were some of the greatest scientist that have ever lived. Included in this lot were Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Richard Feynman, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Harold Urey (and this is but a hand full of the many). In 1945 the United States covert operation known as The Manhattan Project achieved its goal - to create the first atomic bomb. Since its inception in 1939, scientist had struggled to find a way to harness the power of fission. Through the combined efforts of many, a test bomb known as "Fat Boy" was finally created. On July 16, 1945 in a desert in New Mexico the worlds first nuclear test, codenamed Trinity, was conducted and ushered in the Atomic Age.
Long Term Implications Of The Manhattan Project
The initial explosion of an atomic bomb is devastating but its destructive capabilities do not end there. Rain that follows an atomic bomb is heavily contaminated with radioactive particles. Many survivors of the initial blast eventually died due to radiation poison. Those survivors that did not die suffured severe burns, nausea, vomitting, fatigue, diarrhea, and hair loss. Other effects are still being discovered to date. One such discovery is the passing on of Leukemia to offspring. Not all by-products of the atomic bomb have been negative. Through the atom bomb, scientist have discovered how to harness the power of nuclear energy. Nuclear power plants are far more efficient than traditional power plants. The medical field has also taken advantage of the atomic bomb. Technology used in the atomic bomb is also used for CAT scans and chemotherapy.
What Was The Outcome Of The Manhattan Project?
In 1945 the United States covert operation known as The Manhattan Project achieved its goal - to create the first atomic bomb. Since its inception in 1939, scientist had struggled to find a way to harness the power of fission. Through the combined efforts of many, a test bomb known as "Fat Boy" was finally created. On July 16, 1945 in a desert in New Mexico the worlds first nuclear test, codenamed Trinity, was conducted and ushered in the Atomic Age. The Trinity test success led to the creation of two more atomic bombs that would be used in WWII. On August 6, 1945 the American B-29 bomber known as the Enola Gay released the first atomic bomb to be used in warfare. The 9,000 pound bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" detonated in Hiroshima, Japan. "Little Boy's" explosion was catastrophic and resulted in 66 thousand instantaneous deaths. Total vaporization from the blast measured one half a mile in diameter. Total destruction ranged one mile in diameter and serious blazes extended as far as three miles in diameter. Three days after the release of "Little Boy" a second bomb named "Fat Man" was released on the town of Nagasaki. "Fat Man" weighed 10,000 pounds and annihilated nearly half of the city. In one split-second, the population of Nagasaki dropped from 422,000 to 383,000. As astonishing as this seems, scientist estimate that both "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" only utilized 1/10th of 1 percent of their explosive capabilities.
"Little Boy" is the code name given to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August, 1945 . It was Monday morning. Little Boy was dropped from the Enola Gay, one of the B-29 bombers that flew over Hiroshima on that day. After being released, it took about a minute for Little Boy to reach the point of explosion. Little Boy exploded at approximately 8:15 a.m. (Japan Standard Time) when it reached an altitude of 2,000 ft above the building that is today called the "A-Bomb Dome." The Little Boy generated an enormous amount of energy in terms of air pressure and heat. In addition, it generated a significant amount of radiation (Gamma ray and neutrons) that subsequently caused devastating human injuries. The people who saw the Little Boy often say "We saw another sun in the sky when it exploded." The heat and the light generated by the Little Boy were far stronger than bombs which they had seen before. When the heat wave reached ground level it burnt all before it including people. The strong wind generated by the bomb destroyed most of the houses and buildings within a 1.5 miles radius. When the wind reached the mountains, it was reflected and again hit the people in the city center. The wind generated by Little Boy caused the most serious damage to the city and people. The radiation generated by the bomb caused long-term problems to those affected. Many people died within the first few months and many more in subsequent years because of radiation exposure. Some people had genetic problems which sometimes resulted in having malformed babies or being unable to have children. It is believed that more than 140,000 people died by the end of the year. They were citizens including students, soldiers and Koreans who worked in factories within the city. The total number of people who have died due to the bomb is estimated to be 200,000.
Just three days after the bomb was dropped to Hiroshima, the second atomic bomb called "Fat Man" was dropped to Nagasaki. Though the amount of energy generated by the bomb dropped to Nagasaki was significantly larger than that of the Little Boy, the damage given to the city was slighter than that given to Hiroshima due to the geographic structure of the city. It is estimated that approximately 70,000 people died by the end of the year because of the bombing.
The volunteers who participated in this project, strongly believe that the world must learn about weapons of total destruction. We hope that the information presented here will help you understand the pain and devastation that nuclear weapons can cause. We don't want you to just feel sorry for the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the war inflicted untold pain and suffering on many people in Asia and the Pacific. Rather we want you to work with us to ensure that all of us can live in a safe world.