The Atom

Picture from: http://inventors.about.com/od/astartinventions/a/atomic_bomb.htm

The Bomb’s Roots…

Based on the articles that speak of the Atomic Bomb’s history, members of the group said…

Science bring about a lot of new knowledge into our world, but some have to learn how to use this knowledge wisely. Research gave us a new perspective on atoms; it opened our eyes to its maximum potential on how it could be of use to this world. Unfortunately, the world also witnessed how this further knowledge brought destruction and death. The articles presented showed how the Atom bomb could be beneficial, but it also showed how it lead to a lot of unfortunate events. I feel sad about this, and I do hope that people would learn to use their knowledge where it can best be used, not for destruction or to kill. -Jan Adrian Chan

The creation of the Atomic Bomb showed us how science can be magnificent and dangerous at the same time. This destructive force truly changed the way war was perceived. The constant threat of this bomb instilled fear in the hearts of those who want to start a war, therefore allowing peace to reign. This however came with a cost, if the Atomic Bombs fall into the wrong hands a lot of destruction of properties and the loss of innocent lives may occur. -Alexander Matthew Dy Juanco

The world of science is a magnificent field of discovery in the world. It has brought about advantageous discoveries, but also disadvantageous discoveries. One discovery that falls under these two categories, would be the discovery of the Atomic Bomb. The articles that were presented show the different perspectives of people about the creation and release of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. -Patrick Gabriel Lim

The first article was based more on the point of view of the soldiers who were tasked to drop the bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The second article (letter of Einstein) was most likely written in the perspective of a historian because of the use of the third person and no opinion was stated. But before the soldiers even dropped the deadly Atomic Bomb, it was being developed in New York by a group of scientists led by Robert Oppenheimer; their task was named the “Manhattan Project”, which started in 1939 and ended in 1945. The reason why they started the project was because of Albert Einstein: he sent a letter to President Frankin D. Roosevelt that the Nazi Germans were purifying uranium-235 to make an atomic bomb; Einstein also confirmed that this is possible. Through that letter, the “Manhattan Project” was started. The problem encountered in making the Atomic Bomb was that the uranium that was mostly extracted from uranium-235 was uranium-238 (isotopes because both elements are identical), which was basically useless. However Ernest Lawrence (from South Dakota) and Harold Urey (from Indiana) were able to “split the atom” by making an extraction system that would exactly do this. Through that discovery, they were able to make enough “enriched uranium” for the deadly Atomic Bomb.

What’s an Atom?

All matter is composed of atoms. There are 90 naturally occurring kinds of atoms. Scientists in laboratories have been able to make about 25 more.There are still things smaller than an atom, its three basic parts are the protons, neutrons, and electrons. The atom’s center region is known as the nucleus. The nucleus makes up almost all of the atom’s mass or weight. The atoms of each chemical element have a different nucleus. This is also where the protons and neutrons in an atom can be found. Adding protons make a new kind of atom, while adding neutrons make an isotope of that atom. The electrons on the other hand, are found moving around the center in areas called orbitals. The amount of protons are always equal to the amount of electrons. Right now we do not have an absolute understanding on atoms, but only a way of abstracting so that they can make useful predictions about them.

To make an atom into a bomb, it is necessary to “split the atom” in order to have enough to make an atomic bomb. The resources to make an atom bomb would be uranium-235, but it was hard to extract this. This was because when uranium ore is to be extracted, 99% of it will be uranium-238, which is rendered useless to make an atomic bomb. To solve this, an extraction system was developed to magnetically separate the two isotopes (uranium 235 and 238) and after magnetic separation, a gas centrifuge was used to further separate the lighter uranium-235 from non-fissionable, heavier uranium-238.

The Atomic Bomb Tomorrow

We, as a group, believe that atoms are an important part of science. Learning more about atoms can help the world learn how it can be used to its maximum potential. However, we believe that using atoms to create bombs is not the proper way of using atoms to its fullest. We do not agree with using atoms to cause the death and hardships of many people, so we also think that research or studies shouldn’t be made for the mere purpose of creating powerful weapons that cause devastating destructions from atoms in the future. One good thing, however, is that not all atoms could be used to make an atomic bomb. Secondly, It isn’t also easy to get a hold on atoms that are capable of being used as bombs. Thirdly, it is not easy split an atom also. This somehow ensures that people who may be plotting a crime/terrorist attack, or people who may be uninformed/unaware of what they’re doing do not end up creating bombs that may lead to death, destruction, and chaos.

References

  1. http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bllawrence.htm
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Urey
  3. http://www.newser.com/story/124996/man-arrested-for-trying-to-split-atoms-in-his-kitchen.html
  4. http://inventors.about.com/od/astartinventions/a/atomic_bomb.htm
  5. http://www.chem4kids.com/files/atom_structure.html
  6. http://www.vtaide.com/png/atom.htm
  7. http://education.jlab.org/atomtour/listofparticles.html
  8. http://www.nobeliefs.com/atom.htm
  9. http://library.thinkquest.org/20176/atomicbomb.htm
Images from:

Group Members

  1. Jan Adrian Chan – H3D
  2. Alexander Matthew Dy Juanco – H3D
  3. Patrick Gabriel Lim – H3G

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