First Atomic Bomb Test Is Successfully Exploded
On July 16, 1945, at 5:29:45, the Manhattan project ended explosively while the first atomic bomb was successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Plans for the Allied creation of a uranium bomb were made as early as 1939, when Italian emigrant physicist Enrico Fermi met with representatives from the United States Navy at Columbia University to discuss the use of fissile material for military purposes. That same year, Albert Einstein wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt to support the theory that an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction had great potential as the basis for a weapon of mass destruction.
In February 1940, the federal government awarded a total of $ 6,000 for research. But in early 1942, with the United States now at war with the Axis powers and fearing that Germany would be working on its own uranium bomb, the War Department took a more active interest and resource limits for the project have been removed.
Brigadier-General Leslie R. Groves, himself an engineer, was now fully responsible for a project aimed at bringing together the greatest minds in science and discovering how to harness the power of the atom to put a decisive end to the war. The Manhattan Project (so called because of the start of the research) would cross many places during the first period of theoretical exploration, especially at the University of Chicago, where Enrico Fermi managed to trigger the first chain reaction of fission. But the project took its final form in the desert of New Mexico, where, in 1943, Robert J. Oppenheimer began to direct the project Y in a laboratory of Los Alamos, with spirits such as Hans Bethe, Edward Teller and Fermi. Here theory and practice have come together, while the problems of achieving critical mass – a nuclear explosion – and building a deliverable bomb have been resolved.
Finally, on the morning of July 16, in the New Mexico desert, 200 kilometers south of Santa Fe, the first atomic bomb exploded. Scientists and a few dignitaries walked 10,000 meters away to observe that the first cloud of scorching light mushroom stretched 40,000 feet in the air and generated destructive power of 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes of TNT. The tower the bomb was on when it exploded was vaporized.
The question has now become: who should the bomb be dropped on? Germany was the original target, but the Germans had already surrendered. The only remaining belligerent was Japan.
Footnote: The initial budget of $ 6,000 for the Manhattan project ultimately reached a total cost of $ 2 billion.
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