The Development of The Atomic Bomb
By David Littlefield and Brian Murana
external image Atom_bomb.jpg

History of Development of the Atomic Bomb:

In the year 1939, right before the start of World War II, Germany was invading all of the countries sorrounding it, in search of uranium-235. With this type of uranium Germany could purify it and create the worlds first atom bomb. Also while this was all happening in Europe, Adolf Hitler was searching for people of Jewish heritage. Leo Szilard, a Jewish phyicist, sent a letter to the United States of America Government which contained his concern of what Hitler was planning. Leo wasn't the only person to send letters to the government, several others including Albert Einstien, sent their concerns about the Nazi's plan for an atomic bomb. Soon after these letters were recieved, the United States Government, quickly went into action to create at their own atomic bomb. This is now know as "The Manhattan Project." The project to build the first atom bomb cost a rough 2 billion dollars, thats about 24 billion in todays money! People from Canada, England and the USA all teamed up to build the bomb, using over 130,000 people in the process.

Creation of the Atomic Bomb:

Now that we we're now on our own quest to make the atomic bomb, we needed to find high grade uranium to purify down so that we could make the atomic bomb. Unfortunately, the uranium that was needed was very hard to extract from uranium ore. The ratio of uranium ore to uranium metal was 500:1. But once it is refined, the task at hand gets even more difficult when you look at the chemical make up of the two different uranium compounds. The compound of uranium-238 is useless in making a atomic bomb,but the isotopes of both uranium-235 and uranium-238 are nearly the same. No chemical extraction process will work in removing one from the other, it has to be done mechanicly.


The Splitting of Uranium-235 and Uranium-238
The Splitting of Uranium-235 and Uranium-238



After scientist were able to split uranium-235 and uranium-238 up, they needed to find a way to group the uranium-235 away from the uranium-238. They used a gas centrifuge, to seperate the lighter uranium-235 from the heavier uranium-238. After seperating the two different uraniums, they used a technique called nuclear fission. Nuclear fission causes a chain reaction, which can be uncontrollable in which results in an explosion or controlled in which it could be used in a nuclear reactor. When the two split it gives off huge amounts of energy as an electromagnetic force or as kinetic force.




After scientist were able to split uranium-235 and uranium-238 up, they needed to find a way to group the uranium-235 away from the uranium-238. They used a gas centrifuge, to seperate the lighter uranium-235 from the heavier uranium-238. After seperating the two different uraniums, they used a technique called nuclear fission. Nuclear fission causes a chain reaction, which can be uncontrollable in which results in an explosion or controlled in which it could be used in a nuclear reactor. When the two split it gives off huge amounts of energy as an electromagnetic force or as kinetic force.

The Atom Bomb Used
On August 6th and 9th, 1945, President Truman ordered an atomic bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hiroshima was hit by a nuke named "The Big Boy" and killed about 140,000 people instantly and Nagasaki was hit by "The Fat Man" and killed about 80,000 people instantly. After the bombings, thousands of people have since died from the radiation of the nuclear bomb. Radiation is tissue damage becasue it was near radioactive components. Since then Japan has adopted a rule called "The Three Non-Nuclear Principles" which forbids the country to have a supply of atomic weapons. Only these two times, were atomic bombs used in war. Over a thousand of atomic bombs have been exploded as a demonstration or just as a test run. At the Nevada Test Site, the first bomb was dropped in the US. Code named "Dog" and contained a 21 kiloton payload. Just six miles away, the army sat watching waiting for instructions.