Previously it was thought that atoms were the smallest form of matter therefore ultimately stable and indivisible. However, in 1919 Ernest Rutherford was able to break apart the nucleus of nitrogen with alpha particles from a radioactive source. Following these discoveries research in the area of nuclear fission took off as scientists and physicists around the world were bombarding atoms with alpha particles. Consequently rapidly advancing knowledge on the subject. In 1933 Hungarian physicists Leo Szilard proposed that if an atom split and released more neutrons than it required to split it that an expanding nuclear chain reaction could be the result.
In 1945, uranium-235, pure enough for use in a bomb was produce and sent to Los Alamos, where it was made into a gun-type weapon. One small piece of Uranium-235, which was not big enough to hold a chain reaction itself, was fired at another small piece. This was done by means of a explosive charge, inside a cylinder shaped tube, which for... ... middle of paper ... ...he U.S. built thousands of atomic bombs, and different types of smaller of fission weapons. A much more powerful bomb, the Hydrogen Bomb, became the leader of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. In general, the Hydrogen Bomb was like an atomic bomb with a Hydrogen fuel.
According to Merriam-Webster, nuclear fission is defined as “the splitting of an atomic nucleus resulting in the release of large amounts of energy” (Nuclear Fission). In the book Remembering the Manhattan Project: Perspectives on the Making of the Atomic Bomb and Its Legacy, Richard Rhodes, an American journalist and historian, states that fission was essentially discovered by accident. On December 21, 1938, German physicists, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman, were performing an experiment in which they bombarded uranium atoms with neutrons (Rhodes 17). They saw that this procedure created mutated atoms that had strange characteristics. Hahn and Strassman found that the neutrons split the nuclei of the uranium in half producing radioactive barium and krypton (Rhodes 18).
German chemist Martin Klaproth discovered uranium in 1789 (“Outline History of Nuclear Energy” 1). Albert Einstein in 1905 discovers theory of E=mc2. In 1939 Hahn and Strassman show developments in harnessing nuclear fission (“Outline History of Nuclear Energy” 1). They showed that fission not only released a lot of energy but also released additional neutrons which led to a greater release of energy (“Outline History of Nuclear Energy” 1). British and US scientists concentrated on fission of U-235 which would lead to a new element of mass U-239 an atomic number of 94 in which would lead them to discover neptunium #93 and plutonium #94 which was based off the finding of the uranium element (“Outline History of Nuclear Energy” 1).
When the atoms split it releases energy and if you put billions of these atoms together it could start a chain reaction and make a massive explosion. Three physicists leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, and Edward Teller, believed that a nuclear weapon was possible and germany already started working on one. They thought that this was very important to the war effort so important that the president, Franklin D. Roosevelt has to know about it. However they were not well known enough to get the attention of the president so they got the famous theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein signed the letter and gave it to Roosevelt and he said that this needed action so Leo Szilard asked for six thousand dollars worth of materials to produce a nuclear chain reaction.
Subsequently, in 1934 Enrico Fermi and his colleges studied the process of uranium bombardment and for the first time were able to mention nuclear fission, which is a key component in nuclear power plants administration. Furthermore, after Fermi and Szilard immigrated to the United States they joined group of scientist in there work on what would eventually become part of the Manhattan Project. There precise role was originated in the Chicago Pile-1, which was the self sufficient nuclear chain reaction. This is the key module that generates the high amount of heat needed for the generation of steam. This steam is used to move turbines, which coincidently in America its one hundred and four reactors are able to output enough steam to power one fifth of its homes.
(Wilkie) People know that despite efforts to keep control on the old Soviet stockpile and waste, terrorists are getting the plutonium and uranium needed to make nuclear weapons to kill masses of people. This is kind of the history of the nuclear & atomic bomb: (all from Williams) The first atomic bomb was thought up by Albert Einstein in the late 30's. In 1942 Enrico Fermi brought about first nuclear reaction with isotope Uranium 235. From this the Manhattan Project was brought about and took place in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Then July 16, 1945 near Alamogordo, New Mexico world's first atomic bomb was set off.
The development of nuclear weapons is still an issue today, decades after Truman left office. Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) succeeded in splitting the uranium atom and the Nobel Committee later awarded him the 1938 prize for physics. At Columbia University in New York, Fermi realized that if neutrons are emitted in the fissioning of uranium then the emitted neutrons might proceed to split other uranium atoms, setting in motion a chain reaction that would release enormous amounts of energy. (1) Fermi had succeeded in taking one of the first steps to making an atomic bomb. A decade later on July 16, 1945, the U.S. detonated the first Atomic Bomb near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Along with Albert Einstein, they wrote a letter to President Roosevelt warning that Nazi Germany might also be working towards a uranium bomb; many of the important discoveries in atomic physics had been made at German universities. Roosevelt responded by setting up an advisory committee on uranium in October 1939. Under the aegis of this committee, American scientists at several centres examined the problem. The uranium that fissions is an isotope, a variation of an element that is chemically indistinguishable but different in its atomic structure. It is uranium-235, which constitutes only 0.7 per cent of uranium.
When two German scientists, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman, demonstrated nuclear fission in December of 1938, American scientists feared that Germany would begin to build an atomic bomb (Wainstock, 35). Because of this, Albert Einstein sends a letter to President Roosevelt in August of 1939. It is this letter that encourages the President to form a committee to investigate atomic research. American scientists, including Einstein, also persuaded the President to undertake the bomb's development. This secret government effort became known as the Manhatten Project.