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Nuclear bomb inevitability Tue, Mar 07, 2017
From reading Richard Rhodes' The Making of the Atomic Bomb, it struck me that the invention of the atomic bomb was essentially inevitable.  Particle physics was a hot topic at the time, and scientists were discovering various things about chemical elements and what happened when you applied different forces and stresses to them.  It was eventually found that certain radioactive elements emit a bunch of energy when a small amount of energy is applied to them.  All it took was for somebody to think, "Huh, I wonder what would happen if we started a chain reaction?"  The geopolitics of the time assured that certain world powers were always in the market for more powerful weapons, and the general fear of the era necessitated "the good guys" figuring it out before "the bad guys" did.  The ferocity of the battles in the Pacific against the Japanese showed that surrender was out of the question, so a ridiculously strong message needed to be sent to assure victory.  It's easy to question it in hindsight, but it's nearly certain that human beings would've invented the nuclear bomb eventually. #science

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