Atomic Age/Nuclear Bomb

FILE - In this Aug. 9, 1945 file photo, a mushroom cloud rises moments after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, southern Japan. On two days in August 1945, U.S. planes dropped two atomic bombs, one on Hiroshima, one on Nagasaki, the first and only time nuclear weapons have been used. Their destructive power was unprecedented, incinerating buildings and people, and leaving lifelong scars on survivors, not just physical but also psychological, and on the cities themselves. Days later, World War II was over. (AP Photo/File)

While studying the impact of neutrons on uranium atoms, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann inadvertently split the uranium and led to the creation of barium. In asking physicist Lise Meitner what she thought their results could mean an hearing her answer, they realized that in their bombardment of neutrons upon uranium atoms, the atoms had split—nuclear fission.

News spread quickly of the discovery, and scientists in many countries delved deeper into the process. It was when Albert Einstein sent a letter to Franklin Delano Roosevelt in August 1939 that the United States learned of Germany’s scientific experiments with fission and nuclear chain reactions.

Einstein’s Warning

Einstein also said that there was much potential for the Germans, in the course of their research, to find a way to create “extremely powerful bombs.”

Einstein suggested in his letter that the United States secure an adequate supply of uranium ore and that they fund University laboratories to accelerate experimental work on nuclear chain reactions.

Read the full story in your Thursday, August 6th Times-Record. Purchase your paper copy of today’s paper at the TR office (146 3rd St NE, Valley City), local gas stations and grocery stores or an electronic copy by clicking subscribe in the top left corner of the www.times-online.com home page.

Recommended for you