One of the acts for which President Franklin D. Roosevelt will be longest remembered was his political daring in underwriting the project which ultimately produced the atomic bomb. There can be little question that the vigorous promotion of the project by the United States government hastened the development of the bomb, perhaps by as much as twenty years. There is equally little question that even without such promotion the bomb would have appeared within roughly such a period. For the curiosity of physicists, once aroused by the demonstrations of tremendous energy released in the fission of U-235 — which became known to the scientific world early in 1939 — would not have stopped short of carrying out in private laboratories the series of steps which culminated in the assurance that an atomic bomb could be produced. At that point the interest of governments would have intruded itself automatically.
KeywordsGreat Power Atomic Bomb United States Government Great Nation Fissible Material
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