Development Of The Hydrogen Bomb

Development Of The Hydrogen Bomb

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Development of the Hydrogen Bomb

In the world there is little thing called power. Many countries want to have great power, few get it. Powers gave the Soviet Union and the U.S. the ability to dominate in wars. In the 1950’s during the Cold War these two countries had a race to se who could create the most powerful weapon the world has ever seen, the Hydrogen Bomb. Edward Teller, an atomic physicist, and Stanislaw Marcin Ulam, a mathematician, "who together developed the Teller-Ulam design in 1951" for the Hydrogen Bomb (Teller-Ulam Design). Many people had their thoughts about why or why not the Hydrogen Bomb should have been built. What this essay will talk about is why the Hydrogen Bomb was built.

"The successful explosion of a Teller-inspired thermonuclear device in 1952 gave" the U.S. the go ahead blow against the Soviet Union in the arms race of the fifties (Teller and Ulam). Scientists around the world had been thinking that a thermonuclear bomb, also know as the Hydrogen Bomb, could be developed, but they arms race was completely focused on the atomic bomb. Oppenheimer was a household name because he was the head scientist at Los Alamos while developing the atomic bomb, after that had been completed the tide shifted to a man who’s name is Edward Teller. Teller, who is a “Hungarian-born atomic physicist” and “know as the "father" of the hydrogen bomb”, was at the forefront when it came to the design of the Teller-Ulam Hydrogen Bomb (Hydrogen Bomb Exploded). Stanislaw Marcin Ulam, mathematician who developed idea of the lithium hydride bomb, was the other half that perfect combination. Although there was excitement for the U.S. being the first with the bomb some scientists did not share that excitement.

Not all people agreed with the idea to build this bomb, some people had their doubts. For example, Julius Robert Oppenheimer was a highly known theoretical physicist and Director of the Los Alamos Laboratories. With his experience he had many doubts about the Hydrogen Bomb, wither it would work. “Oppenheimer and others on technical and moral grounds had initially opposed building the H-bomb, seeking instead an international moratorium on its development” (Teller and Ulam).

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Later on Oppenheimer’s loyalty to the nuclear program was being challenged because of his fight against the development of the bomb. In a hearing held in 1952, Teller testified against Oppenheimer which fell into Teller’s favor resulting in Oppenheimer’s security clearance was withdrawn, for safety of the program. These were all factors towards the building/development of the Hydrogen Bomb, there one good question about the H-bomb is, How powerful is it?
Before the atomic bomb was tested some people said that there was a chance that the world would blow up when they detonated it, they also said that about the H-bomb, that it’s self should scare anybody. The hydrogen bomb works by setting off a little atomic bomb to ignite the hydrogen isotopes, if you think about it you are actually setting off the two most powerful types of bombs the world has ever seen all at once. On November 1, 1952 “the first fusion bomb to be tested by the United States was exploded at Bikini Atoll” which is located in the Pacific Ocean (Hydrogen Bomb). It had the “destructive power of about seven million tons of TNT, roughly 500 times greater than that of the first atomic bombs” (Hydrogen Bomb). This was the first full-scale test of an H-bomb and only the second most powerful bomb, ever. The Soviet Union constructed the worlds first transportable h-bomb called the Tsar Bomba. The Tsar Bomba was a 50 mega-ton hydrogen bomb; it was supposed to be double that but the Soviet Union wanted to reduce the nuclear fallout that it would have produced. The shear scale of what these bombs could do was incredible, almost unbelievable. Thank god we have not created anything close to this size sense.

For all the inventions that human kind has come up with, why did we create the Hydrogen Bomb? We did it for one thing a thing called Power. The cold war would never be the same again with the weapons that were produced, we could have blown the world up 5 times over with one push of a button all because two super powers wanted just that little bit more control over each other. Many people fought for development the bomb and against it, but all-in-all as long as countries with nuclear weapons get along with each other we should not have to worry about total nuclear war and the demise of life itself.

Works Cited
"Teller-Ulam Design." Wikipedia. .
"Hydrogen Bomb Exploded, 1951-March 1, 1954." DISCovering World History. Online ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resource Center - Silver. Thomson Gale. GRANITE BAY HIGH SCHOOL. 11 Jan. 2008 .
"Hydrogen bomb." World of Invention. Ed. Kimberley A. McGrath and Bridget Travers. Online ed. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2006. Student Resource Center - Silver. Thomson Gale. GRANITE BAY HIGH SCHOOL. 11 Jan. 2008 .

"Hydrogen bomb." UXL Science. Online ed. Detroit: UXL, 2003. Student Resource Center - Silver. Thomson Gale. GRANITE BAY HIGH SCHOOL. 11 Jan. 2008 .
"Teller and Ulam Develop the First H-Bomb, 1951-1952." DISCovering World History. Online ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resource Center - Silver. Thomson Gale. GRANITE BAY HIGH SCHOOL. 11 Jan. 2008 .
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