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THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ATOMIC BOMB THE CHAIN REACTION BOMB Atomic bomb imagined The New York Press reports: “New hope for releasing the enormous stores of energy within the atom has arisen from German scientists”. World famous Niels Bohr of Copenhagen and Enrico Fermi of Rome, both Nobel prize winners, acclaim this experiment as one of the most important in recent years. Fermi now realized that his new element 93 had been a product of splitting the uranium atom. At this time the release of nuclear energy was at once recognized for its potential use in an explosive weapon. Fiction was soon becoming fact (Yass 20). Fear of Nazi Germany Otto Hahn writes a paper to Fermi stating that: “if technology to split uranium was discovered it would lead to the construction of bombs which would be extremely dangerous in general, and particular in the hands of certain governments”. Everyone knew which government he meant. This was a chance the Nazis were not likely to overlook. At this time Hitler stopped exports of uranium ore from nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia and ordered every scientist in the field of physics, chemistry and engineering to drop all research and devote themselves to this work (Yass 21). Fermi approaches the U.S.A with the help of Albert Einstein Enrico Fermi, with his knowledge of Italian dictatorship, was desperate to convince Allied defence authorities of the dangers of Nazi Germany’s work on nuclear fission. Fermi approached Einstein and Einstein signed a long letter to President Roosevelt calling for intensive research into a possible bomb: “Some recent work by E. Fermi and L.Szilardleads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the near futureIt may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium, by which vast amounts of powerwould be generatedIt is conceivable …

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