Albert Einstein 1879-1955
Einstein was undoubtedly the single greatest contributor to science in the 20thcentury. Few will argue with that point. His gifts to today’s understanding ofthe universe, energy, time among others base many branches of modern science.
His contributions are not restricted only to the fields of science, but also tothe individual person: from powerful heads of states to the average citizen.
Albert Einstein helped Oppenheimer1 develop the fundamental science needed tobreak atoms, causing massive amounts of energy to be released. There are twocommon forms of this technology today, the Nuclear Power Plants, and the Atomic,or Nuclear Bomb.
During the WWII battles with Japan, the United States government instructed agroup of scientists to derive a new weapon, one that could potentially causelarge scale destruction emitting from a single bomb. Many notable scientistscontributed to this project, but none with as much global respect as Einstein.
With the help of his physics knowledge, the mission was accomplished: a weaponyielding the force of thousands of tons of dynamite was tested at a governmentinstallation test site in Nevada.
Soon after the United States used this weapon on Japan twice, The Soviet Uniondeveloped their own nuclear weapon. The Arms Race was on. Suddenly bothcountries expended large amounts of resources on making these bombs useful incombat. Three hundred billion U.S. dollars2 were spent to ignite this projectand produce only a small number of functional bombs. The Soviet Union wasthought to have spent about equal amounts.
By the late 1950’s what we now know as the Cold War erupted. Nuclear Holocaustseemed inevitable. Tensions between the Communists and the States reachedmonumental highs. The whole United States suddenly went into a panic mode thatwould stay resident until the 1980’s. Children on the first day of a new yearof school were taught where the fallout shelter was. Instead of swimming pools,people would purchase subterranean bunkers to protect them from the radiationand chaos that was expected to follow the attack. Both sides of this warscrambled to better their strategic location of missiles. All to many times didone country push the other nearly to the brink of all out nuclear war.
It seemed that Einstein had foreseen the use of this weapon and made it know ina statement that he is commonly quoted saying,”I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IVwill be fought with sticks and stones.”He was all too correct with this statement. He knew very well that when a warwas fought with such weapons as nuclear bombs, there would be little left tofight over. There would be no winners in this war. The whole globe would beshattered by these two giants. And both sides knew it.
As soon as one power would attack the other, an all out fight would engage. Thepeak U.S. response time was only a little less than 10 seconds. Missiles wouldbe launched, landing in a little over a minute in key locations first, likeindustrial centers, capitals, etc. The clean up round would completelyannihilate all land governed by the country in less than 4 minutes. Without theability to launch full destruction from a button, these two powers would havefor certain used land troops and air attacks. Civilians would die and citieswould be crumbled in a non-nuclear battle, but this was a winnable war. Onewould walk away having brought the other to its knee. Some treat the nuclearweapon like a curse, others the single most important tool in protecting ourliberty.
I feel that my personal well being has been the result of the nuclear bomb.
Since the end of WWII until today, there has been less bloodshed between worldpowers than in centuries, if not millenniums. Although Einstein was hated bysome groups in his time because of his contribution, I believe that he knew verywell of the future. I strongly feel he would avoid helping the ManhattanProject if he felt it would result in nuclear war.
“Before God we are all equally wise – and equally foolish”
- http://magna.com.au/prfbrown/albert_e.htmlhttp://cuy.net/%7Eeinstein/einstein.html http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/history/Mathematicians/Einstein.htmlhttp://www.aip.org/history/esva/einstein.htmhttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/nova/einstein/http://www.yahoo.com/Reference/Encyclopediahttp://www2.elibrary.com/id/27/86/search.cgi1
- Robert Oppenheimer was the head of the Manhattan Project, the project giventhe instruction to harness the power of the atom in a destructive way.
- Einsteinplayed a great role in laying the roadwork for this new venture. Oppenheimerhimself received a Nobel Prize in physics. 2 Inflation adjusted to 1995.