Observation of Nuclear Weapons

Germany was the first country to discover the possibilities that could arise based on the splitting of a uranium atom. This brought about fear in the United States, as it was a time of Nazism and Fascism in other countries. Albert Einstein who escaped from Nazi persecution had come to the United States and felt it was his responsibility to inform the President of what the German physicists were on the breakings of. After writing a detailed letter to President Roosevelt, there was a slow agreement to start the making of an Atomic Bomb in the United States. An atomic bomb is defined as a bomb that derives its destructive power from the rapid release of nuclear energy by fission of heavy atomic nuclei, causing damage through heat, blast, and radioactivity. This was then named the Manhattan Project. Having study based out of only three universities in the US, the University of Chicago, with the help of Enrico Fermi who had escaped Italian Fascism, discovered the first controlled nuclear chain reaction. This discovery was the turning point in the making of the first Nuclear Weapon. After such an advancement, funding was much assisted and development quickened. Towards the end of development, roughly $2 billion had been spent on research of the atomic bomb alone. It was seemingly impossible to keep such a large effort an entire secret but the nation seemed to manage very well. After completing their first trial, the United States prepared for the first detonation of an atomic bomb. Unprepared for such extreme results, the Americans on the trial were surprised at the blinding flash that was visible for nearly 200 miles. The homes of citizens had windows blown out over 100 miles away from the detonation due to the extreme pressure and heat.
The United Nations made the first attempt to ban the use and creation of such weapons in 1946 after seeing all of the negative effects it had on the world. Since this time, there have been many efforts and treaties in the potential elimination of Nuclear Weaponry. One example is the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water. This was signed in 1963 by The Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The treaty contains articles such as Article 1 which states, “Each of the Parties to this Treaty undertakes to prohibit, to prevent, and not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion, or any other nuclear explosion, at any place under its jurisdiction or control.”

Since the creation of the first atomic bomb, nuclear warfare has only been used as a form of attack twice in our world history. This was the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Although not used in harm, there have been over 2,000 nuclear tests conducted as more and more countries began to create their own weapons. As of 2013, the United States alone has built over 125,000 more nuclear warheads. If we base numbers off of the amount of deaths caused from the bombing on Hiroshima, the United States has built enough nuclear warheads to kill 25,000,000,000 people between initial immediate deaths and the effects of radiation.

http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/
http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/since-hiroshima-weve-built-125000-nuclear-bombs
http://www.ushistory.org/us/51f.asp

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