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The Manhattan Project Essay

942 words - 4 pages

The Manhattan Project By: Kyle Layton A young industrial nation embedded deep with in the heart of the second, world war was desperate for a leading edge. Flirting with the possibility of harnessing an enormous amount of energy to gain control of the opposition. A question that has been debated before such power was even conceivable. If it is possible, how was it made and should it been used.The atomic age was born on August 6, 1945, a b-29 bomber, the Enola Gay passed through the clouds over the island of Japan. Once in position at 8:15am, August 6, 1945 the plane, that will forever live in history, dropped its payload. The first atomic bomb ever created missed ground zero at 1,980 feet by only 600 feet, over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The once peaceful city went up in a gigantic fireball with the force equivalent to 20,000 tons of TNT. The city was wiped out, buildings torn from their foundations. Shadows of people once standing were burnt into walls as a life long memorial to those who visit.The atomic bombings of Japan marked the end to the worlds largest armed conflict. Bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki offered the best choice for a quick and easy defeat of Japan. President Harry, Truman's, authorization was a wise decision under the circumstances of the war. Truman's decision to use atomic weapons on Japan is best described as "the lesser of evils". "The Bomb" offered the least casualties for both sides while at the same time ending the war quickly, while getting back at the Japanese people for the ships and crew lost to repeated "kamikaze" attacks, and the attack on Pearl Harbor, killing around 2,500 people Refugee physicists in the United States started to organize a program to study nuclear fission after it was discovered by German scientists in 1938. Many scientists feared that Germany was already working on nuclear weaponry. Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner were among the scientists concerned. However neither one could make an impact, so they went to someone who could, they explained the problem and the possible outcomes to Albert Einstein. Einstein quick to understand the problem (Clark, pg. 669+ Spencer Weart & Gertud Weiss Szilard, eds., "Leo Szilard: his Version of the Facts", pg. 83) accepted their request to write a letter to the President, Roosevelt(Badash 237). Einstein explained the process of a nuclear fission chain reaction and what could happen if its power was to get into the wrong hands. When FDR received the letter Germany had just invaded Poland the month before, FDR was ready for action.October, 1939 the Briggs Committee was appointed to study nuclear fission. Most of the first research was done in New York, so the project was dubbed the "Manhattan Project"(Badash 238). Work began slow, first studying...

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