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Re: [Phys-L] A bomb without Einstein?

Fascinating details, Rick, thanks for sharing.

I just published a paper on this topic in the Asian Journal
of Physics co-authored with two students majoring in physics
as a part of their Physics Seminar requirement. The title is,
"From the Dawn of Nuclear Physics to the First Atomic Bombs".

There are many other speculations related to the making of the atomic
bombs, including on a possible work on atomic bomb project in Japan. It is
sometimes difficult to distinguish speculations from scholar publications,
but Alex Wellerstein is a reliable historian of science, even though not a

Here is a link to our paper posted on Research Gate:




E. Michonova-Alexova, PhD
Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Department of Chemistry and Physics
Room 203 DMSC, Erskine College
2 Washington Street, Box 338
Due West, SC 29639-0338, USA

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."

- Carl Sagan

On Fri, June 27, 2014 3:21 pm, Strickert, Rick (Consultant) wrote:
Regarding speculation about Einstein's letter that initiated the Manhattan

It was Leo Szilard who wrote the letter to the President and then went to
Einstein and got him to sign it. If Einstein had not been available or
refuse to sign it, Szilard probably would have gotten other prominent
scientists to sign it. While Einstein's name was significant, the
contents of Szilard's letter, especially to President's military advisors
also carried significant weight.

Ironically, six years later when Szilard got 69 scientists at the Met Lab
to sign a petition to the President against using the atomic bomb on a
Japanese city, his petition was ignored, or at least counteracted by a
July, 1945, poll requested by Arthur Holly Compton in which 131 out of 150
participants favoring options favoring the military use of the atomic bomb
against Japan, and by the June 16th recommendation of the Interim
Committee (Compton, Fermi, Lawrence, and Oppenheimer) that "we can see no
acceptable alternative to direct military use."

Of course, that recommendation was to a different President, who later
stated, "We have spent two billion dollars on the greatest scientific
gamble in history - and won." (The New York Times, Tuesday, August 7,
1945, p. 1) and still later stated: "The atom bomb was no 'great
decision'... It was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of
righteousness." - Harry S. Truman, at a Columbia University Seminar, April
28, 1959, New York City, as quoted in _The Buck Stops Here: The 28
Toughest Presidential Decisions and How They Changed History_, Thomas J.
Craughwell, Edwin Kiester Jr., Quarry Books, 2010, p. 178.

In a related speculative mood, could the plutonium bomb have been
successful in 1945 without chemists Arthur Wahl and Stanley Thompson, or
physicists Richard Tolman and Seth Neddermeyer?

Rick Strickert
Austin, TX

-----Original Message-----
From: Phys-l [] On Behalf Of Savinainen
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2014 1:32 PM
Subject: [Phys-L] A bomb without Einstein?


I read a blog on Einstein's role in the atomic bomb with interest:
I confess that I may have given too much credit (or blame, depending on
your moral views) for Einstein on providing a crucial impulse for the
Manhattan Project.



Viesti on tarkastettu roskapostinsuodatus- ja virustorjuntaohjelmistolla.

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