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An Essay On Oppenheimer's Morals Vs. The Government On Building The Bomb For The Government

576 words - 3 pages

Oppenheimer's Morals VS. The GovernmentJulius Robert Oppenheimer was made director of the Los Alamos laboratory and conducted the Manhattan Project. His team designed two bombs, one using uranium (called "Little Boy") and one using plutonium ("Fat Man"). By early 1945, nuclear plants around the nation (also working under the Manhattan Project) had produced enough nuclear material to being testing. On July 13, 1945, at a site called Trinity in New Mexico, a plutonium bomb was assembled and brought to the top of a tower. On July 16, the bomb was detonated, producing an intense flash of light seen by observers in bunkers up to 10 miles away and a fireball that expanded to 650 feet in two seconds. It grew to a height of more than 9 miles, boiling up in the shape of a mushroom. Forty seconds ...view middle of the document...

Three days later the plutonium bomb was used to bomb Nagasaki. The two bombs killed approximately 150,000 people when they fell. This is exactly what Oppenheimer feared. He feared that the nuclear weapon he had helped form would be used irrationally and cause unnecessary destruction. Today, there are several arguments that Oppenheimer was correct and the United States government could have avoided dropping the atomic bomb.The United States' Pacific campaign had been taking place since the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The United States escalated conventional bombing beginning in 1945 on Tokyo resulting in approximately 100,000 Japanese casualties. Historical reports say that the fire bombing on Tokyo had weakened the Japanese infrastructure and it would have been only a few months before the Japanese would have been forced to surrender. Dropping the nuclear bomb only accomplished killing thousands of civilians and causing nuclear destruction to the land.In general, Oppenheimer argued against any future development of a stronger nuclear bomb. He knew well that the government would not understand the strength of the destruction caused by nuclear energy. After World War II, the primary focus of the government's greater interest in nuclear research was due to the arms race that was developing between the United States and the Soviet Union. He had the belief that the purpose of technology was to improve society and not to cause widespread destruction.Oppenheimer's beliefs should have been regarded by the United States government. He was one of the top experts at his time in his field and his opinions were not considered seriously. The United States went against their own ideals of protecting human life when they dropped the nuclear bomb. For this and several other reasons, the government was wrong, while Oppenheimer's morals were correct.

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