Atomic Bomb Research Article from History Firsthand

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Leo Szilard

In 1939, Leo Szilard, a physicist who had just immigrated to the United States from Hungary, still had his doubts about sustaining a chain reaction during the splitting of a uranium atom. He then heard of the discovery of nuclear fission and from this realized that splitting the uranium atom could produce a chain reaction and a resulting explosion. Szilard discussed his conclusions with other scientists who were working on atomic research such as Frederic Joliot in France and Enrico Fermi who had recently immigrated to the United States from Italy. When Fermi, working at Columbia University in New York, performed an experiment that confirmed the existence of the fission reaction, Szilard was excited and yet concerned. He feared that if the Nazis gained knowledge on how to split the atom, the world would be in great danger. He thus opposed the publication of any papers on...

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This section contains 2,944 words
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