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The Atomic Age

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The Atomic Age The Atomic Age, composed of complex and controversial issues, has forever changed our world and the way in which we live. * What were the factors leading to the dropping of the atomic bomb? The answer to this question considers events dealing with atomic energy, the Manhatten Project, and controversial issues about when, where, how, and if the bomb should have been used. There are several events prior to the 1940s that led to the making of the bomb, but the majority of events and controversy snowballed during the 1940s. It is always important to examine the causes of world changing events so that the human race will learn from and be more aware of such issues in the future. Important factors prior to the 1940s: In 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen discovers x-rays. Soon afterward, Marie Curie discovers radium and polonium, both radioactive elements, in 1898. Several years later, in 1905, Albert Einstein creates the famous theory about the relationship between mass and energy. 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. Factors during the 1940s: Abrupt, unexpected changes: On December 7th, 1941, the United States was suddenly brought into World War II when unexpectedly attacked by the Jap... ... middle of paper ... ...orces alone, therefore making us appear more powerful. All of these events, both prior and post 1940, contributed to the dropping of the first atomic bomb. It was not one single event or person, but many that allowed this bombing to occur. These events should be looked at and studied so that they will not reoccur in the future. Works Cited: Dannen, Gene. "Atomic Bomb: Decision". April 25, 1997. <http://www.peak.org/~danneng/ decision/decision.html> (March 24,1998). Fogelman, Edwin. Hiroshima: The Decision to Use the A-Bomb. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1964. Wainstock, Dennis D. The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb. Westport: Praeger, 1996. Walker, Gregory. "Trinity Atomic Web Page". March 22,1998. <http://www.envirolink.org/ issues/nuketesting/index.html> (March 24,1998). Yass, Marion. Hiroshima. New York: G.P. Putman's Sons, 1972.
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