Atomic Bomb - History of Atomic Bomb

Atomic Bomb

In 1939 Albert Einstein wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to inform him that Germany was attempting to build an atomic bomb, a nuclear weapon capable of mass destruction. Roosevelt then funded the 'Manhattan Project', a research project to build a viable atomic weapon. The first test of the atomic bomb took place on July 16th, 1945 in New Mexico.

An atomic bomb gains its destructive force from a nuclear reaction, essentially the release of mass energy from small amounts of matter. A small nuclear bomb is capable of devastating an entire city with its blast, its fire, and the radiation caused by the blast.

  • Albert Einstein described an atomic bomb to Roosevelt by telling him that types of uranium and plutonium could release energy if enough were packed together in a "critical mass".
  • J. Oppenheimer was in charge of the atomic bomb design laboratory in 1943 in New Mexico, but there were other laboratories around the country working toward the same goal.
  • The "Trinity test", the first atomic bomb test, took place July 16, 1945, at Alamogordo Air Base in New Mexico.
  • Scientists and military personnel watched the test from 30,000 feet away. After a flash of light and heat, a shock wave passed, and a mushroom cloud rose 40,000 feet in to the air. The sand in the desert around the test site fused into glass. This also happens when lightning strikes sand.
  • Only two atomic bombs have been used as weapons - during World War II. The U.S. dropped one called 'Little Boy' on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6th, 1945 and one called 'Fat Man' on Nagasaki, Japan, three days later. Japan surrendered.
  • The 'Cold War' between the U.S. and Russia which began after World War II ended resulted in both countries stockpiling nuclear weapons. This resulted in many global political policies regarding nuclear weapons. There are more than 16,300 in existence today - enough to destroy the world many times over.

Related Links:
World War II Timeline
Atomic Theory I Quiz
Atomic theory Timeline
Atomic Number Facts