The Making of the Atomic Bomb - Book Report/Review Example

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This book's detail is the full story of how the bomb was developed, from the turn-of-the-century discovery of the vast energy locked inside the atom to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan. A small number of great discoveries have evolved so swiftly - or have been so misunderstood…
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"The Making of the Atomic Bomb" This book's detail is the full story of how the bomb was developed, from the turn-of-the-century discovery of the vast energy locked inside the atom to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan. A small number of great discoveries have evolved so swiftly -- or have been so misunderstood. From the theoretical debate of nuclear energy to the bright glare of Trinity there was duration of hardly more than twenty-five years. What began as merely an interesting speculative problem in physics grew into the Manhattan Project, and then into the Bomb with frightening rapidity, while scientists known only to their peers -- Szilard, Teller, Oppenheimer, Bohr, Meitner, Fermi, Lawrence, and yon Neumann -- stepped from their ivory towers into the limelight Rhodes provides broad information on the biographical background and scientific accomplishments of the international collaboration of scientists that culminated in the construction of the first atomic bomb. In 1939, a number of scientists became responsive of the theoretical prospect of creating an atomic bomb, a weapon of mass destruction vastly beyond the potential of existing military arsenals. But it was not until the United States entered World War II, late in 1941 that priority was given to funding and organizing research into the creation of such a weapon in a secret operation referred to as the Manhattan Project.
The first test atomic bomb, called Trinity, was exploded in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945. On August 6, an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, another atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. On August 14, 1945, Japan agreed to an unconditional surrender to the Allies, thus ending World War II. Rhodes addresses the hard moral and ethical dilemmas faced by the scientists of the Manhattan Project, particularly the implications of creating such a weapon of mass destruction. Originally concerned with ''pure'' scientific research, those who worked on the Manhattan Project were forced to consider the ultimate consequence of their research efforts on the future of the human race. "THE MAKING OF THE ATOMIC BOMB provides a valuable insight into the developments within physics and chemistry which directly lead to the Manhattan Project with its parallel development of the first fission bombs and their use against Imperial Japan"( Numerous readers have commended this authors authentic talent in writing, me as well take my hats off for his great job. He is unquestionably remarkable, though some of the readers say it's boring at times. Well I say it depends on the individual who reads it.
Rhodes is quite convincing in his take about the long-rumored idea that the Nazis were also speeding up toward development of the bomb, which Rhodes believes to be unsubstantiated by the available evidence. In fact, he argues exactly the opposite, that the Nazis were neither very interested in the progress of such weapon, and did not enjoy adequate access to the kinds of materials they would have needed to mount a serious developmental nuclear program. Yet the majority of the book focuses memorably on the events transpiring in and around Los Alamos. The program to develop a useable atomic bomb was so massive and so secret that it is hard to visualize its scope at the time. Rhodes' prose admirably supports his sometimes almost confessional style, and he writes fine enough to interest us in the most prosaic explanation even as he is describing events and people who literally transformed the world. This book has an implausible landscape to its rather ambitious scope, which includes biographical, scientific, sociological, political, and economic elements to it.
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