During the late 1930’s, President F. D. Roosevelt received a letter from Albert Einstein that detailed Nazi Germany’s efforts of enriching uranium to its 235 form, i.e. the development of the atomic bomb. Shortly after, the US Government became committed to expediting research on the atomic bomb, this undertaking was given the name “The Manhattan Project”.
In 1938, Scientists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann discovered that the bombardment of uranium with neutrons produced barium. The significance of this find was that whilst uraniums atomic number 92, the result of bombarding the atom with neutrons produced barium, whose atomic number is 36, which is exponentially lighter then the prediction. Physicist Lise Meitner and her nephew Otto Frisch proved the result correct through a theoretical explanation. This assured that the experiment was indeed accurate and that the neutron bombardment did indeed split the uranium atom, producing barium and nuclear fission. This new discovery had dramatic implications as it meant that the American government were now capable of producing nuclear bombs. A positive implication of this was that a new source of energy was discovered.
America’s ‘Office of Scientific Research and Development Section on Uranium (S-1)’ used the research released in a paper called the “MAUD Report” by British Physicists, which contained invaluable theoretical contributions of the atomic bomb’s potential design i.e. the critical mass of uranium (the smallest amount of uranium needed to sustain a nuclear chain reaction).
In Berkeley University, scientists found that there was an abundance of the uranium-238 isotope in uranium ore, and about 1% was the uranium-235 isotope. As they were almost identical in mass and atomic stru...
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...ed as safer and greener alternative due to recent events such as the Fukushima plant meltdown. Although natural causes caused this to happen, fears of nuclear power were still generated in citizens as it produced damaging environmental effects. Innovations in these fields have provided great benefits to society in these past few decades. Although it has been used for evil, it can now be used to save lives.
The Manhattan Project was the foundation of nuclear development on Earth, and disco vies founded in this time are used now to save lives, either through medicine or advantageous food mutations for third world countries. Although nuclear technology has been used for great evil in this world, society should overlook this ‘immaturity’ present in our history and focus on the tremendous potential benefits of further research.
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