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Manhattan project

  1. Jul 29, 2004 #1
    i was told to discuss the impact of the manhattan project on society. anyone could help me? i have to refer both positive and negative consequences.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2004 #2


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    There is the obvious consequence of atomic weapons coming into existance.

    There is the demonstration that technology can single-handedly have an enormous impact on the balance of geopolitical power.

    There were two Soviet spies in Los Alamos. The value of espionage rose significantly with the project. The need for security had a huge impact on society, often overstepping reasonable limits.

    It was the first large, defense program run by the government. It was a model for other government research installations to come.

    Oh, the most positive consequence was that there was no "Third World War" fought between the USA and USSR and their allies.

  4. Jul 29, 2004 #3
    the manhattain project had some very good impacts on society. Exspecially on the scientific community. It proved some of the quantum theory and the idea of a weak nuclear force acting in the nucleus of an atom. It provided to world with a great idea for alternative energy from oil - nuclear power. It also gave a lot of young scientists their start, ie. Richard Fynemann. Some say it even stopped the war. But the worst consequence was the hiroshima and Nagasaki bomobings, I think the United states should have been more wise than to drop a nuclear arm on a helpless city.
  5. Jul 29, 2004 #4
    That has to be taken with the perspecive at the time. The Japanese were not going to surrender unconditionally and Americans would accept nothing less. The Japanese were dying in droves because of this fight to the end attitiude. More people died in one night in the fire bombing of Tokyo, which happened about five months before Hiroshima, than died in the bombing of Hiroshima.

    Its quite possible that the A-bomb save hundreds of thousands of lives

    For more on that see - http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/122/hiro/necessary.html

    Last edited: Jul 29, 2004
  6. Jul 29, 2004 #5
    The project helped scientists worldwide gain a real 'can do' approach to many other problems. If the nuclear bomb could be developed in such a short time, what else could be done?
    NASA had a similar approach in the early days - the Moon has to be reached, therefore we will reach it! When the Apollo 13 mission went wrong, NASA coined the phrase - 'failure is not an option'.

    The Manhattan project achieved an astounding amount and helped fuel the '60s belief in the power of science to answer all questions and solve all problems. Sadly, this era has passed and science is now seen by many as the problem!

    Well that's my theory anyway!!!
  7. Jul 29, 2004 #6
    I'm pretty sure they would have come into existance anyway, sooner or later. Had there been no manhattan project, or had it failed, there would have been another project eventually.
    That was a consequence of the so called "balance of terror", which followed after the russians successfully tested their own first bomb.
    I wouldn't say that it's a great idea, at least not in the form of fission.
    Well, it did stop the war. Even after the first bomb was dropped, Japan refused to surrender. Only after the 2nd bomb they surrendered, thus ending the war. Had the war not ended, it is possible that many more would have died on both sides, as mentioned by pmb_phy (whether they acctually would have, is rather debateable, I suppose).
  8. Jul 29, 2004 #7
    The important thing is to define "which society" are we commenting on?

    For instance, the American Society of the late thirties>>forties had no knowledge of the Manhatten Project, so any 'positive' benefits were actually to the elite persons involved, but yet there were negative and moral effects that must have been a tremendous burden on those involved closely to the work.

    By the very nature of the work with regard to secrecy, there was a fact that the general "society" outside the project were spared what must have been intense moral nightmare's, so while the general society were immune to what was going on, and what impact the Bomb would inflict on any society unfortunate enough to be at a ground zero.

    Here is a quote from the deputy Chief, of the General Staff, Kawabe upon hearing the report of a small attack by a few American Planes at dawn on Aug 7th which obliterated :The whole city of Hiroshema was destroyed by a single Bomb!...the general immedietely remembered that Nishina had once told him at an earlier date, that, according to information supplied by the Japanese Naval Intelligence Service, atomic bombardment was a possibility. As soon as the professor appeared Kawabe intantly asked him: "Would you be in a position to construct an atom-bomb within six months? In favorable circumstances we might be able to hold out that long"

    The above quote from Robert Jungk book:Brighter Than a Thousand Suns.

    The above just shows a little of the mentality of those who did not have any concept of the impact of the Atomic Bomb, the professor whilst visiting Hiroshema two days later, spotted a lone B-52, with his student by his side he hurried to find an air-raid shelter knowing that B-52's were the choice of delivery of the atomic bomb, whilst cowering in the nearest air-raid shelter Nishina had suffered acute pangs of conscience. The effect of not being able to warn his fellow human beings of the potential atomic bomb attack, was never to leave the Professor, the Guilt was soul destroying.

    No doubt american insiders grappled with some heavy moral issue's also.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2004
  9. Jul 30, 2004 #8
    so in conclusion advantage -->

    nuclear power as alternative resouce to use

    fasten and stregthen the development of atomic and qutamn theory and understanding.

    prevent the third war between ussr and usa

    demonstrate the power what scietinst can do within a limit period of time.

    finnnish the world war two a lot faster

    disadvantage --->

    the tragic that casue to japan in droping two atomic bomb. and lives of innocent people.

    the development of mass destruction (nuclear) weapon over several countries.

    the new threat on nuclear waepons

    thx all those who help me thank you all, another thing i heard that, actually USA didnot drop those two bomb on japan, it was made up, reason for that, is

    if the bomb did expolde on hiroshima and Nagasaki then the effect of radiation should last for 100 years and no land or man could exist, where now the new cities at hiroshima and Nagasaki is perfectly normal... and where on earth did the usa force get the LIVE video and picture taken when the bomb exlpode at hiroshima and Nagasaki. i heard that, the pics and video was actually the first bomb the testing bomb at mexico .

    .... wierd
  10. Jul 30, 2004 #9


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    ... and the holocaust never happen, and we didn't land on the moon... yadda yadda yadda...

    You will need to learn to look at the source of any information and evaluate the credibility of such a source. It will help you to differentiate between legitimate sources, and supermarket tabloid garbage.

    Even with the info you received here, if you are doing this for school, you should never simply accept what you have been given on face value. You need to do your own background research - ask for sources and references for the statements made (don't you need these anyway for your bibliography?). If not, you will never be able to tell if what you were given were legitimate, or if someone just pulled a fast one on you.

  11. Jul 30, 2004 #10
    haha great i understand, this would give me an extra hand in researching, some good ideas on the task i am doing. i would be most helpful,

    i will judge the information i recieved and exam it, but once i got confusded or suspisious i would ask, and i m sure there is people here have enough knowledge to correct me, i am only in high school now. i guess all my question is pretty basic
  12. Jul 30, 2004 #11


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    Its difficult to argue against shadows burned into walls and melted stone statues, epscv (the UN building has an exhibit).

    Yeah, it did happen - its just not as much left-over radioactivity as most people would expect.
  13. Jul 30, 2004 #12
    I dont kare what anybody says, dropping an a-bomb on a ciry full of people and CHILDREN withour any warning is a coward action. They could have dropped the bomb on an industrial centre or on an island, just to show their might, not on a civilian target. How would you like it if Iraq were to drop a bomb on you without warning, even if you were against the war. There is nothing that justifies what the united states did.
  14. Jul 30, 2004 #13


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    They did drop it on an industrial center. That's how those particular cities were chosen; they were two of the biggest sources of weapons-manufacture.

    The video was taken by combat photographers onboard the Enola Gay.
  15. Aug 4, 2004 #14
    Ya'll have missed one of the major legacies of the Manhattan Project. It left us a major nuclear waste clean up problem both at the Hanford site in Washington and Oakridge site in Tennessee. There's a little bit at Idaho National Labs as well. Billions of dollars are being spent to clean up this waste. Whole carreers are being made, lost, and retired from in the field of nulcear waste management and disposal.

    The three cities near Hanford (the Tri-Cities: Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick), are the flourishing cities that they are solely because of the billion dollar efforts going on their from both weapons material production as well as disposal and mangement.

    More info:

  16. Aug 5, 2004 #15
    Thx all

    The Manhattan Project (military code name) was a secret government program to develop an atomic bomb, to help end the World War 2 a lot faster. The scientist release the terrible potential of the weapon they were designing. But with the fear from the German scientist who will also developing the atomic bomb, and the horrible power will be controlled by Hitler. They started the project. This program involved 150 000 people include 1000 were scientist from all over the world, The project spend $2,000,000,000 US.
    In 1945 July 16th the first atomic bomb tested and exploded successfully at Almagordo, New Mexico, a 20 kiloton device is detonated, The mushroom cloud extends up to 12km. Then in August 6th and 9th, USA drop the bombs at Hiroshima, Nagasaki. Then August 14th the Japan Emperor, declare for surrender. And The World War 2 was ended.

    b) The Manhattan project had both Positive and negative consequences to the society.

    Firstly the advantage is that it
    1. Finished the World War 2 a lot faster than without it, and therefore save millions of lives of allies troops and troops in Japan. Or else Millions would die from attacking, every nights and every days. Because of Japanese’s warrior spirit, they would fought to the last minute, without surrender, but this atomic bomb, forced them to give up that spirit and surrender to hopeless war.
    2. It actually prevent the Third World War between USSR and USA. Because there is conflict of ideologies between east and west.
    3. It shows the World the power that the scientist can do within a limit period of time, and this leads to further giant projects support by the government such as Space traveling.
    4. It allows nuclear power as alternative electricity resources to use. It does not pollute the atmosphere and does not impact the greenhouse effect and will not cause acid rain. Unlike other generate such as hydroelectric power, it does not need huge lakes or artificial ones . And the risk of landslips. The only disadvantage is that it is expansive to set up such power station, and expansive in maintaining. And the waste is so highly radioactive and highly toxic, there is a problem in dump those waste.

    Secondly the Disadvantage is that:
    1. The tragic cause to Japan in dropping the two atomic bomb, and lives of innocent.
    2. The encourage of mass destruction (nuclear) weapon over several countries because of the fear of that power.
    3. The new threat on nuclear weapon, extra security need in world wide. And the fear if the power past to terrorist.
    4. According to the statistic that the amount of deadly weapon, exist now in USA could destroy the entire Earth 20 times. How horrible!
  17. Aug 5, 2004 #16
    You need to bone up on your history.

    The US warned the Japanese that they had a new weapon capable of destroying a city. The Japanese didn't care because they were going to fight until the last Japanese died taking an Allied soldier with them.

    Both Hiroshima and Nagaskai were industrial centres. They also contained many military targets such as HQs and factories, troop formations, etc. They were viable military targets according to law.

    After the first bomb was dropped the Japanese in charge voted in favour of continuing the war.

    After the 2nd bomb was dropped they voted 50/50 on the matter. The Emperor then cast the deciding vote in favour of ending the war. That night there was an attempted coup to kill those who voted in favour of the war, except of course for the Emperor. Then a revote was going to be called and the war would continue. The coup of course failed and the Japanese surrendered.

    The Japanese were no where near surrendering at the time. Every Japanese citizen over the age of 13 was going to be issued with a bamboo pike to take 1 Allied soldier with them to death.

    As the USN admiral Halsy said, "After this war, the only place the Japanese language will be spoken will be hell." He knew that the Japanese weren't just going to surrender.

    They only surrendered because of the atomic bombs because they had no way of fighting them. I guess there was no honour in just sitting there and dying without being able to fight back.

    The US had also dropped their 3rd and final bomb and was many months away from completing a 4th. They were bluffing.

    The US planners had discussed dropping the bomb on an uninhabited island off Japan and telling the Japanese where and when to watch but thought that the Japanese would be unimpressed and assume that the US had only dropped it on the island as they were unable to drop it Japan itself. And that would've been a wasted bomb.
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