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Thread: About the Atomic Bomb

  1. #1 About the Atomic Bomb 
    Forum Freshman craterchains's Avatar
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    About the Atomic Bomb
    I recently came across these bits of history about the atom bomb as I was researching
    submarines. I seems that Hitler was selling his Uranium to Japan as the war was ending.
    Along with two complete jets and tech manuals. Most interesting that after exhausting the
    US supply of it on the one uranium bomb, they then capture 550 kg. of it.
    Note the subs mentioned at the end of 1944 and into 1945 the end of the war in europe
    was about mid June 1945 and the atom bomb dropped at the beginning of Aug., 1945.

    http://www.submarine-history.com/NOVAfour.htm


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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman craterchains's Avatar
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    FieryIce came across this tid bit on the web.

    http://www.vanderbilt.edu/radsafe/0207/msg00423.html

    That adds a bit more to the picture.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman Communist Hamster's Avatar
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    So, you are saying that the US stole some Atom bomb tech from Japan and the third reich? Or are you just saying interesting historical facts?
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  5. #4  
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    Yes, what are you saying, Norval?

    And it states on that page quite correctly that the War in Europe ended in May, on May 7th/8th 1945 to be precise. (We celebrate May 8th as V.E. Day.) So I don't know where you're getting this "mid-June" idea from. I would have thought someone of your age would know better.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman craterchains's Avatar
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    Just "thinking" out loud kind of. Yes yer right Silas about the date, which makes it even more interesting about how much uranium the US had, and when. Thanks for the correction.
    It's not what you know or don't know, but what you know that isn't so that will hurt you. Will Rodgers 1938
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    so the US may have used German uranium to destroy Japanese cities? that would be ironic!
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  8. #7  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Craterchains,

    Umm. Yeah. This isn't a secret or anything. Wasn't there even a movie about it? Or maybe it was just the subject of numerous documentaries...

    Anyway, it was a u-boat by the ironic designation of u-234. Looking up sources for this post, I've come up with disparate cargo statements, but they all agree that at least two Me-262's (blow jobs) were part of the cargo, as were the 550 kg of u-235. There were also several tons of documents. And personel to take up various war duties in Japan on Germany's behalf. One site that I've found contains a detailed list, but I distrust it because it's too detailed: "Cargo included three crated Messershmitt aircraft (two Me-262 jet fighters, ME-163 rocket-propelled fighter), Henschel HS-293 glider-bomb, extra Junkers jet engines, 10 canisters of uranium oxide, a ton of diplomatic mail, and over 3 tons of technical drawings, plus other technology (torpedo, fuses, armor piercing shells, etc.) Passengers were 9 high technical officers (one general) and civilian scientists. Destination: Japan. Two returning Japanese Navy Lt. Commanders, one air and one submarine, were returning, having observed Nazi technology and techniques." The Japanese officers committed suicide rather than surrender.

    The sub surrendered to the US on May 14th, 4 days after surfacing and hearing the reports of Germany's surrender. So, I'm really confused what you're getting at with this mid-June business. It seems that none of the dates have the slightest thing to do with June. But, I guess you, for some reason, find it more 'interesting' that it took place in May rather than June. So, I guess this should make you happy...

    Anyway. I don't believe that Germany was selling anything to Japan. They were giving the stuff away as the war was coming close to home in Europe and Hitler wanted to heat things up in the Pacific to take some of the heat off of him.

    The German Nuclear Bomb Project was never a main priority to Hitler. The reasons are controversial. Some would say that Heisenberg and other scientists downplayed the chance of success in such an endeavor. Another problem existed in the ever-present fact of Nazi life. Competition. There were at least two competing A-bomb projects and politics squabbled for which would receive the funds required. Hitler loved to see his underlings squabbling amongst themselves. It kept them from ganging up on him.

    Anyway, the Nazi bomb development was apparently almost at the stage of the Allied development in 1942. In other words, the Nazis were drawing close to the stage where they could create a sustainable atomic pile. But, a final try by Heisenberg to make a pile failed in the beginning of April 1945. Calculations showed that they needed 1.5 times as much uraniam as they had in that pile to succeed, but the closeness of the allies and the fact that the heavy water being used (instead of graphite which the Americans used) was absent (stolen by the French earlier in the war) it became clear that no atomic pile would ever be completed in Germany. It was then that the scheme to move operations to Japan commenced.

    Apparently, there was at least twice as much u-235 waiting to be sent to Japan but the Japanese subs that were to pick it up were sunk before they reached their destinations.


    Now. while the topic is kinda interesting. I fail to see a point to your discussion of it. Forgive me if I misinterpret, but your lack of substance to your posts hints at conspiracy or something. As if this were some big secret. The information on this is everywhere. I am unsure why you were reduced to posting links to 'tid-bits'.
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  9. #8  
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    Anyway, the Nazi bomb development was apparently almost at the stage of the Allied development in 1942. In other words, the Nazis were drawing close to the stage where they could create a sustainable atomic pile.
    Nope, although a great deal of effort went into the assumption that they were, in fact Heisenberg had made some crucial errors in his calculations and in any case his team were not given a fraction of the resources of the Manhattan Project. The Germans were actually nowhere near developing a bomb. And I'm pretty sure they simply did not have the refined Uranium required (though they didn't need as much as, thanks to Heisenberg, they thought they did).

    Ok, I've re-read that quote and you say 1942, not 1945. I don't know if the Germans were at a similar level then (Manhattan having started in early 1942), but they certainly never advanced very far from that.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Silas,

    Yeah. The Allies created their atomic pile on December 2, 1945. And, the 'almost' is a touch on the spurious side.

    Heisenberg did miscalculate the amount of uranium required. In fact, he later claimed to have done it on purpose to sabatoge the Nazi atomic bomb effort. But, he would say that, wouldn't he? The truth is that no one will even know the sincerity and/or incompetence of the scientists involved. I personally believe that Heisenberg is lying about doing it on purpose. But, I'm an asshole.

    He also made a mess of his first attempt at making an atomic pile. He used paraffin as the control element and the whole mess started burning. Not fissioning, but combusting.

    The thing about the German bomb is that rather than using graphite control rods, they were using heavy water. And, their heavy water supply was yanked out from under them by the French in Norway. This is one of the things which led them to decide to give up the effort and ship off all the u-235 to Japan. When Heisenberg failed at his latest pile in 1945, they had used up all the available heavy water.

    The Germans had two different bomb efforts, as I said in my original post. The one under Heisenberg was working on a uranium bomb. And for this, they had more than enough. The other effort under Kurt Diebner was going for a plutonium device like Fat Man.

    Now. What seems strange to me about this information is this: If Heisenberg was working on a u-235 bomb. Then why did he need an atomic pile? Proof of concept? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the nuclear pile's main purpose is to turn u-235 into plutonium, isn't it? So, it seems strange to me that Heisenberg should have been stuck at the atomic pile stage when it should have been Diebner who was working on the pile.

    Maybe I'm confused about the worth of the atomic pile?

    Also, while digging around I just noticed that the uranium bomb, Little Boy, was never tested. That is interesting.

    Anyway, confusion aside, I believe that the Japanese progress on the bomb might have been another story altogether. One thing is for sure, none of the Japanese scientists involved would claim to have botched the job on purpose. I believe that a Japanese scientist had performed the calculations correctly and knew how much uranium was required. If u-234 had reached Japan with its load of u-235...

    But, then again, it was far too late by that time anyway. There was no chance of constructing a bomb in less than three months and dropping it on the US.

    No. For the Axis, the bomb was nothing more than a pipe dream. Heisenberg didn't sell the idea as strongly as Einstein did. And, for this too, Heisenberg claims morality. I still think he's lying.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman craterchains's Avatar
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    Ohhhh, I just find atomic weapons some what interesting, for some strange reason. :wink:
    It's not what you know or don't know, but what you know that isn't so that will hurt you. Will Rodgers 1938
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  12. #11  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Yikes.
    Big typo in my last post:

    The Allies created their atomic pile on December 2, 1945.
    That should read 1942 not 1945.
    Egads...
    It's a bit late to go back editing it now, so I won't.

    So. To make it clear, the Nazi bomb effort in 1945 was 'almost' at the stage of the Allied effort in 1942. I.e. they were close to being able to make a sustainable nuclear pile.

    But, the 'almost' is a big almost as their were a number of egregious miscalculations on the part of the German scientists, especially Heisenberg.


    Craterchains,

    Ohhhh, I just find atomic weapons some what interesting, for some strange reason.
    Certainly.
    I hope you have learned enough from this thread to be able to research U-234 on your own now. There are books on the subject, if you dig for titles.
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  13. #12  
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    I need to research nuclear energy.
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  14. #13  
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    Now. What seems strange to me about this information is this: If Heisenberg was working on a u-235 bomb. Then why did he need an atomic pile? Proof of concept? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the nuclear pile's main purpose is to turn u-235 into plutonium, isn't it? So, it seems strange to me that Heisenberg should have been stuck at the atomic pile stage when it should have been Diebner who was working on the pile.
    Well, it was a crucial testbed for understanding how the fission process works, not to mention revealing such things as the need for slow versus fast neutrons for the chain reaction process. Barring that, they would have been trying to go from imperfectly understood physics directly to a bomb.

    Read the book, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb," by Richard Rhodes. An excellent work, it shows all of the slow and painstaking steps taken from theory to concept through reality.
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  15. #14  
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    The biggest problem creating the atomic, fission bomb, was that of obtaining enough U-235 to sustain a chain reaction in a reactor and then to purify more U-235 from it as well as Pu-239

    The first and second US atomic bombs were U-235 bombs. It required huge amounts of power and time to separate out the U-235 from natural uranium, which is mostly U-238 and cannot support an explosion. The 3rd, used over Nagasaki was Pu bomb.

    the Uranium separation facilities were in Oak Ridge and then eventually in Ohio. They required enormous amounts of power and quite a bit of nickel to separate out by gaseous diffusion the UF6. The Oak Ridge plant used up most of Canada's nickel production, in fact.

    Germany was not able to either make enough U-235, or separate it out in order to create a bomb. There is much evidence to show that it was highly unlikely they could have, given the huge energy and technological problems, including massive separation facilities that would have required.

    The USSR was able to make an atomic bomb, but then they had vast resources as well, & basically just stole US methods to do it.

    The Manhattan project in today's dollars cost about $40-50 Billions. Not a 'trivial pursuit'.
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  16. #15  
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    Actually, Einstein had very little to do with the creation of the atomic bomb. He was simply a scientist with enough prestige, so that if he said it could be done, the political leadership would be convinced to believe it could be done

    The man behind the bomb was the Hungarian born physicist, Louis Szilard. He was the man who created the idea of the chain reaction. HE even patented the atomic reactor and several other apps of nuclear energy. One can read about his work in Germany as a Jew and how he viewed Germany's ability to create the bomb as the motivation to create the US Manhattan Project in 'Genius in the Shadows".

    He was the one who convinced a rather skeptical Fermi to build the first reactor in the U of Chicago's squash court as well as pushed Einstein quite a bit to send that famous letter to FDR. Without Szilard, Einstein would not have sent that letter. Without Szilard there would have been no Manhattan project, in all likelihood.

    The 'man behind the bomb' was Szilard.
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  17. #16  
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    Had the Germans built a large separations facility (centrifuges, storage, machining, rail, power generation, sprawling), you can be certain the Allies would've bombed it repeatedly and disrupted production.
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  18. #17  
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    Got that right. Talk about a "high priority" target.
    *Welcome, my friends, to the show that never ends*
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  19. #18  
    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Also, while digging around I just noticed that the uranium bomb, Little Boy, was never tested. That is interesting.
    Oops.
    Typos galore.
    Steve's right, of course.
    Little Boy, which was the third bomb, was a plutonium bomb. Not uranium.
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  20. #19  
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    Here is some link that i would like to share,it's has a lots of interesting informations abouth bombs and etc.

    http://support007.com/find.php?value=Atomic+Bomb

    best regards
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  21. #20  
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    Thank you for the link and welcome to The Science Forum.
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  22. #21  
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    According to a documentary I saw several months ago, the germans were initially interested in the atomic bomb, but figured that the war would be over before they could make it so focused the bulk of their research on projects that could be used in the war asap and left a token research lab without sufficent ressources to build an atomic bomb in the war's projected time frame. The germans calculated that time was of the essence and was on the side of the Allies, so to win they had to achieve victiory quickly, so they figured by the time they would have built their own atomic bomb either they would already have won or would already have lost.
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  23. #22  
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    i read german never thought of it as a bomb, just as a great energy resource and a engine.

    But if we are to blame someone for the bomb, lets blame humanity
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  24. #23  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Notjhing at all wrong with the atomic bomb.


    Using it is the questionable thing.
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  25. #24  
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    One of the main reasons why Germans never receives The Bomb was that there were 3 scientific groups working on the project simultaneously. Facing limited resources, lack of finance and equipment, constant thread of bombers over the German cities they had no chance to get the weapon ready.
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  26. #25 Building an A-bomb 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    All you'd need to do is to get uranium (natural) turn it into a a liquid state, stick it in a centrifuge and you should be able to get drain off U-235, then let it cool back into a solid state........

    .....then get two halves of the critical mass or U235, put a conventional bomb round it so that it will force the 2 halves of U-235 together....Around the bomb incase it in lithium powder, and incase THIS hole structure in normal uranium or plutonium.

    That should keep you going for a while.
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