Was Einstein the one who made the A-bomb?
Einstein is said to be a scientific genius. Did he make the atomic bomb?

Einstein was not directly involved in devising the mechanism of the A-bomb or in building it.

In about 1930, Einstein discovered a formula that revealed the tremendous power locked in the atom. In other words, he developed the theory on which the atomic bomb was based, but he had nothing to do with the physical building of the bomb. On the other hand, he did sign a letter requesting the US president to order the development of the atomic bomb, and this letter was an important factor in the American decision to build the bomb. (To learn more about this, please click on Developing the Atomic Bomb.)

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So why did Einstein sign such a letter? At that time, Germany was in the hands of the Nazis, and the Germans were conquering the rest of Europe. This was the start of the Second World War. Germany was highly advanced scientifically, so scientists in other countries were very worried about what might happen if the Nazis were the first to develop an atomic bomb.

I'm sure you have heard that the Nazis were persecuting the Jews. Einstein and many other Jewish scientists had suffered due to that persecution and had moved to the US where they could be free to pursue their research. Because of their experiences in Europe, they believed that it was absolutely critical that the US develop the bomb before Germany. One of those scientists wrote a letter to the US president advising him to start work on the atomic bomb, and Einstein signed that letter.

To learn more about why scientists cooperated in the making of the atomic bomb, and to learn more about Einstein, who later poured tremendous energy into the peace movement, please read one of the many biographies or the historical comic about Einstein.


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