Splitting The Atom: The Human Will To Stay Alive

by Patrick Carpen

Category: General Non-Fiction


Sometimes life can be and seem beautiful. Sometimes, a lifetime can seem, well, like a lifetime! On the other hand the human race seems plagued with troubles and sorrows to the point that God Himself stepped down to earth to save them from sin and suffering.

Many humans relinquish the gift of life through suicide every day, yet many other people are happy to be alive, and the expression “thank God for the gift of life” runs rampant on the face of the earth, springing from human mouths of all races, classes and color.

For many people, life often presents a short span of, as Shakespeare put it “strutting and fretting upon the stage”. And as the Bible tells, our life is “like a vapor which quickly disappears”, and “as a hand breath”.

Nevertheless, the humans seem to have an ironclad will to stay alive and it seems that they won’t slip silently into the night…they won’t go down without a fight.


The start of the War

Even before the official start of the SECOND WORLD WAR, which was to this date, declared to be the deadliest human conflict in history, the Japanese was at war with China in an effort to rule most of the Asian continent.

In 1939, Adolf Hitler, driven by a desire to establish a world caste system based on the idea of racial superiority, found an excuse to attack France. After conquering France, Hitler marched into Poland. It was then that the United Kingdom and Canada declared war on Germany in a bid to stop Hitler from invading the whole of Europe.

But even so, Canadian and British support were weak: sending only weapons and small amounts of troop to their allies.

The great nation of America refused to enter the war. Being noted for being the most successful economy, with her famed rags-to-riches social system, America seemed too busy making technological progress and creating wealth to enter another war – even one which threatened to change the course of mankind’s history.

Related: Do not close your ears to the cry of the helpless.

The fall of France

During German invasion of France, the French military put up a fierce resistance; but in June 1940, France fell to Hitler. French military forces were then divided: one group fighting for the Axis nations (Hitler), and the other group fighting for the allied nations (the United Nations).

The Japanese Empire

It will remain a mystery how Hitler managed to convince the Japanese Empire to join forces with him. According to Hitler’s theory, the Japanese could not be considered part of the “Aryan Race”. Hitler most likely had a plan of turning against the Japanese after using them as allies. The fact that they speak two entirely different languages may have played a major role in helping Hitler to deceive the Japanese to this end.

It is also possible that the Japanese were planning to use Hitler’s forces to help achieve victory in their military conquests across Asia, with subtle plans to turn against Germany when the time was right. It should come as no surprise that such is the kind of evil which accompany greed, war and lust for worldly power.

The bombing of Pear Harbour

During the first two years of the second world war, America refused to join the allied forces, assisting only with military supplies. But an event would take place in the early morning hours of December 7, 1941 that would jolt America into the hottest parts of the battle. Without even an inkling of a warning, the Japanese dropped a bomb on the US Naval Base “Pearl Harbor” in Hawaii, killing more than 2400 Americans, sinking about 21 ships, and destroying about 188 US. aircraft.

America Enters The War

The next day, December 8, 1941, America declared war on Japan, marking official entry into the second world war.

The Atom is declared “indivisible”: scientists

During their studies of matter, energy and the world around them, various scientists from around the world began formulating theories that all pointed to the same outcome: that every piece of matter in existence is made up by the bonding of atoms.

To put it into perspective, if you take a bit of matter, be it solid, liquid or gas, and started dividing it into halves, repeating the process until there remains a part so small that it can’t be divided anymore, then that indivisible part would be called an atom of the element divided.

It is impossible to see an atom even under the most powerful microscope, but scientific theories prove its existence, and using these theories, mankind has been able to achieve great scientific advances.

Mankind’s back is against the wall.

By the year 1941, within just two years of fighting, the Axis forces were gaining grounds: much more than the rest of the world liked. Further, there were rumors circulating that Hitler’s scientists were working on a project which would produce a weapon that would bomb the world into submission.

Scientists who had escaped persecution from Germany because of their “non-Aryan” racial composition, attested to the truth in these stories.

The allied forces feared that Hitler would perfect the atomic bomb before them and devastate the world. They had to do it first, and at the same time, sabotage the efforts of German-backed scientists.

The Race to Split the Atom

Experiments that would lead to the creation of the nuclear bomb were first carried out by an Italian scientist in Rome in the year 1934. In the year 1938, even before the start of the war, these experiments were repeated by three German researchers. The result of the experiment was widespread excitement and national headlines.

On January, 6, 1939, a report published in Germany claimed that bombardment of the uranium atom with neutrons had split the uranium atom “almost in half”. Most startling, it was recorded that the half-splitting of the uranium atom triggered a release of energy equal to two hundred million electron volts.

If German scientists could execute this process on a  larger scale, and if the energy released by this process could be harnessed, then axis forces would have in their hands a weapon which could subdue any enemy, and a energy device which could transform the world.

This was the start of the race to split the atom.

The First Nuclear Bomb

The German-born mathematical physicist, Dr. Lise Meitner, was forefront in the experiments carried out to split the uranium atom. But being a Jew, she was not, according to Hitler’s theories, a pure Aryan.

Fearing for her life during Hitler’s persecution of the Jewish people, and all who he considered to be of “non-Aryan” race, Lise fled Germany, traveling first to Holland, and then to Sweden.

Interestingly, Dr. Meitner had already gained a very deep insight into what caused the tremendous release of energy during the splitting of the atom.

Dr. Meitner and scientists from all over the world converged in the United States of America to add their bit of knowledge to the project of splitting uranium atoms to produce colossal amounts of energy. Many of these scientists had no idea that the monster they were shaping was a weapon of death. They just thought they were contributing to the probe of science.

At the American university in Manhattan, New York, where the scientists worked, danger of being vaporized by an accident was imminent at every moment. Extreme caution had to taken. Civilians in the city were highly at risk. Luck and every precaution possible saved the day.

On July 16, 1945, at around 5:30 A.M., in a desert in New Mexico, the first test explosion of the atomic bomb was carried out. An estimated temperature of about one hundred million degrees Fahrenheit was reached at the center of the explosion – marking the birth of the age of nucleonics. The bomb, which weighed between twenty two and sixty six pounds, vaporized the steel tower on which it exploded and left a half-mile wide crater in the earth.

The First Nuclear Bombing

The Nuclear Fallout

The start of the United Nations

The Future of Nuclear Weapons

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