Atomic Bomb Essay, Research Paper
The history of the atomic bomb dates back to the early 1900 s when Einstein s theory of relativity proved a basis for understanding nuclear energy and showed that the atom contained vast energy. This energy seemed beyond men s grasp until the late 1930 s.
In 1939 scientists succeeded in splitting the atoms of uranium by bombarding them with neutrons. They found that the split atoms released neutrons and energy. Physicists found that the fission of these atoms could produce a chain reaction.
In the summer of 1939 Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt explaining the potential for atom-splitting devices in warfare as well as the possibility of other countries possessing this information.
In the summer of 1940 Einstein moved to Manhattan, New York to begin research on an atomic bomb. The Manhattan Project as the atomic bomb project was called, tested their first prototype in the desert of Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 6, 1945. Due to the success of these tests the U.S. military requested these bombs for use in World War 2. The first military application of the atomic bomb followed shortly after the tests. On August 6, 1945 the U.S. dropped its first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. The blast covered approximately four and a half miles killing over 100,000 people. The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki killing over 40,000 people. These weapons of mass destruction ended the war.
Today the atomic bomb is known as a thing of the past since the last time it was employed by any country was the attack on Japan in 1945. Since then 130 countries have signed a peace treaty prohibiting the use of atomic bombs in warfare. This, however has not stopped countries from testing these and similar bombs such as the hydrogen bomb and the fusion bomb. These bombs use the same principals as the atomic bomb, but with a few variations.
The hydrogen bomb uses the fusion of atoms and hydrogen to produce great heat and activity. This process occurs in steps. First an atomic bomb explodes triggering the hydrogen and atoms. It provides the heat and pressure needed for fusion. Then, deuterium and tritium atoms fuse. This rapidly releases huge amounts of energy causing a large explosion. A thousand times that of the one that devastated Hiroshima in 1945. The nuclear fallout (the radioactive dust and debris that settles to the ground after the explosion is over) can cause severe illness or even death. Other effects of a hydrogen bomb are the shock effect and the heat effect, similar to the effects of an atomic bomb depending on the size of the bomb.
After many countries had tested the bomb and found its massive power a treaty was signed banning the spread of hydrogen bombs to other countries in 1968. On March 5, 1970 a peace treaty went into effect outlawing all hydrogen bombs in over 40 countries including the United States, England, Russia, China and France. To this day the treaty holds these countries to not produce weapons of mass destruction like these.
As far as the future goes, I hope this technology is never used for war of any kind. I think that with the power of atomic bombs as well as a more advanced type of bomb that I m sure is out there the world would suffer a catastrophic apocalypse that could very well make our world a nuclear wasteland unable to support healthy human life. I think the future for the atomic bomb is becoming obsolete due to the amazing power and destruction it creates. I hope governments have discontinued research of this weapon and moved on to a more environmentally safe means of military defense. If the countries that signed the treaties banning nuclear weapons uphold their honor I believe we will not have a problem with any kind of horrible future like the one that could be.
I don t think we will ever see anything like the people of Japan did 54 years ago. I hope countries around the world have realized the danger involved with nuclear warfare and its potential for mass global destruction.
Although I enjoyed learning about the atomic bomb and its significance to history and military technology, I hope to never see anything like it again. I did not realize the mass destruction and chaos a single bomb can create. With the technological advances we have made over the past 50 years this type of bomb is merely a toy compared to the nuclear weaponry we have at our disposal today. I was always curious how a single bomb could end a world war between two major countries. Now I know how.