Albert Einstein's Creation Of The Atomic Bomb

1693 Words7 Pages
Perhaps the most famous equation ever produced by the renowned theoretical physicist Albert Einstein was his theory of special relativity, written as E=mc2. This sequence of letters and numbers is, for the most part, common knowledge. But how many people actually know what E=mc2 means, or how it has shaped our understanding of the universe? What has he done for the ever-expanding field of science? More importantly, how did his discoveries affect world history? Einstein not only changed the way we view the universe, but his discoveries eventually lead to the creation of the atomic bomb, which was a drastic game changer for the U.S. in World War II and the effects of which are still prevalent today. Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany…show more content…
He was actually denied from working on the infamous Manhattan Project by the U.S. Army Intelligence Office in June of 1940 (amnh.org The Manhattan Project). As stated above, his equations did, however, play a big role in the atomic bomb’s development. It wasn’t until 1942, with the help of the discovery of his equation of mass-energy equivalence (E=mc2), scientists began to explore the possibility of an atom bomb. A few years earlier, in 1939, another physicist named Leo Szilard convinced Einstein to write a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt urging him to create such a device, clarifying the probability of Germany also working on a similar weapon. This letter would prove to be instrumental in the initialization of the Manhattan project. During the time that many of Einstein’s colleagues participated in this project, Einstein himself was working with the U.S. Navy to analyze other weapons systems. The main reason behind the fact that he was not working on nuclear weapons was the U.S. government’s fear of Einstein’s involvement in numerous peace and socialist…show more content…
With no other option, the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused Japan to surrender unconditionally. This event removed an enemy during the course of World War II. Not only did the bomb affect Japan, but it also affected the United States both socially and politically. In addition to affecting World War II, the creation of the atomic bomb also lead to an arms race with Russia several years later, in what would play a big part in the Cold War. This gave rise to extreme paranoia in both the United States and in Russia. The two countries became gridlocked, neither one wanting to use nuclear weapons, but both holding them pointed directly at one another. This paranoia led to the creation of propaganda films and “instructional videos” on how to survive a nuclear blast (the most memorable being the “duck and cover” public service announcement. It is important to note that ducking and covering will not allow one to survive a nuclear blast). Espionage became commonplace and a common fear in U.S. as well as Russia, one such case being the well-known Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed for suspected conspiracy with the KGB. Later, the physics community was torn on whether or not it was ethical to build a hydrogen bomb, which would turn out to be even more devastating than the effects of the atomic
Open Document