Atomic Bomb Essay, Research Paper
March 16, 2000
The Atomic Bomb
The atomic bomb was more destructive than any other weapon ever produced. Clearly its destruction power was greater than the world had ever known. The atomic weapon was invented for the sole purpose of being used in warfare. In 1943 America began something called the Manhattan Project. J. Robert Oppenheimer, an atomic scientist from Germany, headed this project. The U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on two Japanese cities in of 1945 to put an end to the Second World War.
The atomic bomb?s ending World War II, disastrous effect on society as a whole, and its opening the door for advancement of scientific research in the atomic field, played an important role on its impact of the 20th century.
During the war in Europe, the U.S. did not enter the war until it was bombed by Japan. Out of all the countries in the world, the U.S. was by far the most socially advanced during the war. During the First World War, the side America chose to fight for received the victory. The same result happened in the Second World War. When
America dropped the bombs on Japan, it was not only the end of the war, it was a statement from America saying they were not a country to reckon with.
When America entered the Second World War they were already booking for a way to end it.
A military atomic research project was set up in the United States. It was top secret and code named ?the Manhattan Project.? Millions of dollars were spent on building the research stations, which soon employed thousands of scientists, technicians, and engineers. The Manhattan project was under the overall control of and American general but an American physicist named J. Robert Oppenheimer, headed the research team, which included some of the world?s most brilliant physicists (Killingray).
The bomb that the U.S. produced was dropped on two Japanese cities to end the war. The Manhattan Project was a great success. America had once again put an end to a major world war.
When America developed the atomic bomb they did not understand the destruction power it possessed. In a matter of minutes it killed almost 100,000 people and wiped out an entire city off the face of the planet. Using the atomic weapon greatly lessened the need for ordinary soldier warfare. With the power of the atomic bomb countries have no need, or significantly less need, for soldiers. Using this weapon made warfare a scary thought.
The Atomic Weapon killed millions of people. No one knew exactly what effects the atomic blast would have so inevitably no one knew what to expect when the bombs were dropped on Japan. The results were far greater than anyone could have ever imagined. During World War II, America chose to drop two atomic weapons on Japan. An account of the disaster follows:
At precisely 8:15 on 6 august, a nuclear chain reaction in the bomb carried by that parachute built up a temperature of several million degrees centigrade. In 0.1 millisecond, a fireball of 300,000 degrees Celsius was created and expanded to 250 yards in diameter one second after the bomb had been detonated. Hiroshima had been the target of the first atomic bomb. A third of the population of 300,000
are dead, many of them killed mercifully outright from the blast; more by the firestorm that ripped through the city fanned by fierce man made winds; and thousands are dying daily from the effects of deadly radiation burns. (Daniel)
The atomic weapon killed thousands. For the people of Japan and many people around the world it was the most frightening thing that they could ever imagine. Those were the last Atomic bombs to ever be dropped in warfare.
Atomic weapons had many more effects than just the first blast. The initial obliteration of everything within a 100-yard radius is not the end of an atomic bomb?s power. Many different things happen after the bomb has been dropped such as fallout and nuclear radiation. People were still dying years after the bomb had been dropped. Leonid Tarassuk and Claude Blair explain in the following the lasting effects of an atomic weapon:
Fifteen percent of the energy produced by an atomic bomb is released in the form of various nuclear radiations, which are extremely dangerous on account of the biological destruction they may cause. About a third of these radiations appear at the time of the explosion; the other two thirds, which last a comparatively long time appear when dust, with a high content of nuclear radiation, falls to earth as
fallout. Fallout may be local, appearing a few hours after the explosion; tropospherical, appearing after a few months; or stratospherical, remaining active over a period of several years.
Fallout can last for years and can contaminate not just the target but also many other areas. All testing sites for nuclear weapons are in places that are uninhabited and away from major areas for this reason.
When the bombs were dropped they destroyed more than just two major Japanese cities. The atomic bomb that ended the Second World War had devastating effects on not only Nagasaki and Hiroshima, but also on the entire country of Japan. A first eye account of the bomb droppings is stated here:
On august 6th and 9th of 1945, American plane dropped one atomic bomb each on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The first bomb destroyed 80 percent of Hiroshima?s buildings and killed about 80,000 people. The second bomb killed about 35,000 people. Japan surrendered to America after Nagasaki, but the people of Japan suffered failing health and horrible deaths for years afterward due to the effects of atomic radiation. (The Atom Bomb Forever Changes War)
Japan spent years rebuilding not only those two cities but also their entire nation. Since the Second World War, no country has dropped another nuclear weapon in warfare. The effects were just too disastrous.
When atomic bombs were produced they were the most destructive weapons the world had ever seen. Now the science of atomic and nuclear weaponry is far greater advanced. ?In the 1950?s thermonuclear weapons or H-Bombs were developed with
explosive power far greater than the atom bombs of 1945? “(Campbell)”. In the 1990?s nuclear power is used for more than just weapons. It can be used in people?s homes. The knowledge that is known now about atoms and subatomic particles is used for more than just war.
The creating of Nuclear Weapons greatly advanced scientific research in this field. One such way is Nuclear Fusion: ?Nuclear fusion is the combination of light
atoms. When combined part of the mass of these elements is converted into energy and, if this change is fast enough, a nuclear explosion will result? (Campbell). Thermonuclear weapons rely on fusion for their power. Another advancement was Fusion Reactions: ?Fusion reactions, discovered early in the 1930?s, are highly exoreic; while the energy produced is generally less than that in fission reactions. Advancement into the scientific research of fusion, allows for more diversity in the size of the weapons being produced? ?(Bomb)?.
Scientists made even more great advancements. Another one was Nuclear Fission: ?Nuclear fission is the splitting of the nuclei of heavy atoms? (Campbell). Both of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Japan relied on fission for their power. Here Campbell explains how they use there energy: ?Atomic bombs make use of the energy released in a fission chain reaction; a nucleus of high atomic number, when bombarded by a neutron, absorbs it, and at the same time splits into two fragments with atomic numbers about half that of the initial nucleus, plus a certain number of free neutrons?. Fission produces far more power than fusion. Now we can produce atomic and nuclear
Weaponry more much technologically advanced and much more powerful than the bombs dropped on Japan.
The atomic bomb?s ending world war II, disastrous effect on society as a whole, and its opening the door for advancement of scientific research in the atomic field, played an important role on its impact of the 20th century.
?Atom Bomb Forever Changes War.? 6 March 2000 http://www.letsfindout.com/subjects/america/atomic-bomb.html
Campbell, Christopher. Nuclear Weapons Fact Book. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1984
Daniel, Clifton, ed. ?Atom Bomb Wiped Out Japanese City? Chronicle of the World. Mount Kisco, N.Y.: Chronicle Publications, 1987.
Killingray, David. The Atom Bomb. St. Paul, MN: Greenhaven Press, Inc, 1980
Leonid Tarassuk and Claude Blair, eds. ?Bomb.? The Complete Encyclopedia of Arms and Weapons. New York: Bonanza Books, 1986