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The Atomic Bombing Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki

2398 words - 10 pages

The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
By Michael-Gabriel Fox

The atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were attacks conducted by the United States of America on Japan, resulting in Japanese surrender and bringing an end to the Second World War. The bombs were first created by America with the purpose of responding to the potential threat of a nuclear attack by Nazi Germany, however with the war in Europe coming to a close and American troops still fighting on the pacific front, Japan was selected as the first, and to date only, target of an atomic bombing. Many factors led to the construction of the bomb and the idea was first considered when world renowned physicist Albert ...view middle of the document...

These facilities were mainly created to process and enrich uranium in order to purify it for bomb manufacture and testing. This enriched uranium would be used in the Hiroshima bomb “Little Boy”. “Little Boy” was a gun type nuclear weapon meaning its design called for a uranium bullet to be fired down a barrel into a uranium target causing a nuclear chain reaction, releasing huge amounts of energy. From these experiments came the discovery of reactor produced Plutonium. Italian physicist, Emilio Segrè, received the first sample of reactor produced plutonium from the oak ridge facility on April 5th 1944 and determined that plutonium produced in a reactor was more spontaneously fissionable than enriched uranium. Because of its volatile nature it could not be used in any gun type bombs like the “Little Boy” without risking a premature explosion. The bomb development facilities in Los Alamos now focused their efforts on designing a plutonium based weapon, a new implosion device was created which called for a sphere of plutonium to be compressed to a high density using explosive lenses into a supercritical mass, this would then be showered with neutrons causing a nuclear chain reaction, this implosion type method would be used in “Fat Man”, the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Following the death of Roosevelt, newly elected president Harry.S.Truman was informed of the Manhattan project and gave consent that the project continue.
In March of 1944, following the completion of the bomb, testing was planned to take place in the uninhabited Mojave desert in New Mexico, the site was chosen in order to maintain the complete secrecy of the project, even after an atomic blast. The test was given the title of the “Trinity Test” .The bomb to be tested was given the codename “The Gadget”, officials were careful not to use the word bomb for fear of espionage, the gadget was an implosion type nuclear bomb similar to “Fat Man”. The explosion would be overseen by laboratory leader and renowned physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer who watched from a bunker ten miles from the explosion another bunker was set up 17 miles from the explosion, bother bunkers were filled with military personnel who arrived in new Mexico to view the test and its results.
The “gadget” was placed atop a 100ft tall steel frame in order to simulate how it would perform if dropped from an airplane and to avoid irradiating the ground and causing nuclear fallout. The test was originally planned for July 12th at 4am however heavy rain and lighting caused the test to be postponed for fear of an accidental detonation. After a positive weather report was received at 4:45am the test was rescheduled and at 5:10am a twenty minute countdown began. All observers were provided with special goggles that would protect their eyes from the ultraviolet rays. At 5:30am local time the countdown reached zero and the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated. It exploded with the force of 20 kilotons of TNT and was...

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