Thursday, 6 October 2005

Reflections about the Bomb

Yesterday I saw a documentary about the Manhattan Project (MP) on the History Channel. I always though what would be if some government put together as many brilliant scientists and spent as much money as in this project in a similar project with an objective that would benefit mankind. Suppose that you bring together the most brilliant minds in the world in the area of Medicine and give them as much resources as the USA spent to build the atomic bomb for them to find the cure of AIDS. I bet that they would find a solution in a couple of years or less!!!

I´m a physicist, so I´ll talk about physicists. Work together with the scientists of MP is the dream of every physicist: they were a group that could do almost everything! Fermi, Bethe, Bohr, Feynman, Oppenheimer and a lot of other great physicists were there. If the government asked them to create a teleporting machine, they would have did it! They would discover everything if it was not impossible, and if it was, they would get as close as possible. But sadly this kind of project only is created to destroy, not to construct.

Most of the physicists at MP didn´t like when the bomb was deployed among civilians, although some were people that lost so much in the war that were driven by hate and didn´t realize the atrocity that was being made (e.g., Edward Teller). The documentary told that the scientists of MP signed a document asking for the bomb not being used in the war, just tested in an isolated place. A little naïve, I admit, but sometimes we scientists are very naïve.

Well, I was researching a little about the project and the bomb and found this interesting letter from Einstein to the president Roosevelt. This was the letter that initiated MP. Einstein was afraid that the Nazis would build the bomb before any other nation and drop it, so he warned USA about the danger. Einstein didn´t work in MP, but he was as naïve as all the others thinking that the USA would never use the bomb, even after constructing it.

I would like very much to see one day projects like MP to find the cure of AIDS, of cancer, of Alzheimer, to build teleporting machines, spaceships and other things. I just fear that somehow the governments will distort it and use it to make war and control other nations. Sad.

1 comment:

  1. as much i pity the civilian who died by the bomb during WWII, particularly japanese. i still feel that the bomb was necessary. if this bomb wasn't used, the war could have lasted for a long time.

    in my opinion, japanese massacred as many innocent asians as germans did in europe. for some reason, what japanese did to other asians is not well reported often. just a few weeks ago, a news article victimized japan. i don't know. this kind of stuff allows japan room to glorify their past and celebrate the war criminals. prime minister of japan has visited war criminal shrine number of times in past few years.