AUTHORChristman, Al / Cooper, Dan / Heppenheimer, T. A.
TITLEThe Atom Bomb: Making It Possible, Making It Happen, Its Technological Legacy
PERIODICAL TITLEAmerican Heritage of Invention and Technology

The summer 1995 issue of Invention and Technology Magazine commemorates the 50-year anniversary of the world’s first three atomic explosions. It has three articles on the atomic bomb. The first, written by a physicist, shows how Enrico Fermi’s science made the bomb possible. This article has an interesting section on the Chicago pile, and describes the evolution of Fermi’s atomic experiments. The second article is about Deak Parsons, the Navy commodore who converted scientific theory at Los Alamos into a physical weapon. Vannevar Bush and Leslie Groves selected Parsons to lead the engineering of implosion and uranium gun-type devices. Parsons was on the Enola Gay and armed the Little Boy bomb before it was dropped on Hiroshima. A final article assesses the legacy of the emergence of nuclear weapons in human civilization. It notes the irony of nuclear power’s present stagnation at 17% of world power output. However, it notes that the intercontinental ballistic missile technology designed for nuclear war has bolstered man’s ability for space travel.

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