The Final Countdown To...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Primary Analysis: Einstein urges use of Atomic bomb

Please read through and comment on the following.  Knowing what you know, what are your thoughts?
Albert Einstein to Franklin D. Roosevelt - August 2, 1939

6 comments:

Sarah said...

This letter from Einstein to FDR is interesting. I wonder what Roosevelt's reaction was to the letter and if the option of using uranium-based explosives scared him or thrilled him in the eyes of changing war. Also, I was happy to read this letter because the book was saying how German scientists were working hard on new forms of weapons but this letter shows how the allies against them were making better progress.(I don't remember what page). I wonder if the outcome of the war would have changed if this leader was addressed to Hitler and the Nazis were to use atomic bombs against us?

Krista said...

I was extremely surprised by this letter because for as long as I can remember I thought Einstein did know that the bomb he created was going to be used to kill thousands of people, but this letter makes it seem like he was in on the whole thing. Didn't he win a Nobel Peace Prize for the atomic bomb? I, like Sarah, also wonder what would have happened if the Germans discovered the bomb power first and would they have immediately used it on the US or tried to take England first? probably England, but who knows that Hitler was crazy? Too bad our book didn't go more in depth about Einstein :(

jessalves10 said...

I was actually really surprised at first when I found out that Einstein wanted an atomic bomb created. I wonder if FDR was heavily impacted by Einstein's position. I know that Einstein was and still is highly respected, but wasn't it crazy, especially in that era, to imagine creating such destruction with an atomic bomb.
Also, I was just wondering about the Nazis and how they halted the sale of Uranium when they took over Czech. Did they do that because they realized that the atomic bomb could be created with it? It's scary to think of what Hitler would have done if his scientists had discojvered how to make the bomb first. I wonder if things would have turned out differently.

C said...

As a theoretical physicist, Einstein wouldn't have been directly involved in developing anything he theorized on. His Nobel prize was won in 1921 "...in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein

mrowl12345 said...

Knowing what i know now, this is a very monumental letter in Americas history, as well as the history of the world. The development of the Atomic bomb changed the dynamics of the world, and in this letter Einstein seems to just be stumbling upon its powerful and destructive potential. In the letter he says that their discoveries may result in the creation of a catastrophic bomb, be even he couldn't predict how powerful it could be. Einstein also touches upon the fact that Germany is also trying to create such a bomb. This letter completely foreshadows the end of the war, and the future of the world.

Brandt Schneider said...

The atomic history is full of irony. Germany never really got going on the bomb and made stupid, stupid mistakes. And of course, they didn't like Jewish physicists. Like Einstein.

USA would have had the bomb without this letter, but doubtful it would have arrived before the end of the war. Perhaps that would have been a good thing.

This letter was Einsteins biggest regret.