The power of the atom was unleashed on the world today in 1945 and, as Albert Einstein put it in a telegram in New York Times, it ‘changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift towards unparalleled catastrophe’. Detonated at a desert site in New Mexico near the Los Alamos laboratory where it was built. Three weeks later, a similar device was used with devastating effect against the Japanese at Hiroshima.
The development of the atomic bomb, known as the Manhattan Project, was led by the US nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer, with a team of civilian and military scientists. Einstein helped to start the project, warning President F D Roosevelt in 1939 that such a device could be developed by the enemy. Following World War II, Einstein campaigned for nuclear disarmament, acutely aware that he had played a part in the nuclear age. He once remarked, “If only I had known, I would have become a watchmaker.”
So, be careful what you play a part in developing today. Who knows what the consequences may be tomorrow!