novembre, 2011

Carta de Einstein a Roosevelt

F.D.Roosevelt President of the United States

White House Washington,D.C. August 2nd, 1939 Sir:

     Some recent work by E. Fermi and L. Szilard, which has been communicated to me in manuscript, leads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the immediate future.  Certain aspects of the situation which has arisen seem to call for watchfulness and, if necessary, quick action on the part of the Administration. I believe therefore that it is my duty to bring to your attention the following facts and recommendations: In the course of the last four months it has been probable-through the work of Joliot in France as well as Fermi and Szilard in America- that it may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium by which vast amounts of power and large quantities of new radium-like elements would be generated. Now it appears almost certain that this could be achieved in the immediate future. This new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of bombs, and it is conceivable-though much less certain- that extremely powerful bombs of a new type may thus be constructed. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port  together with some of the surrounding territory. However, I understand thatGermanyhas actually stopped the sale of uranium from the Czechoslovakian mines which she has taken over. That she should have taken such early action might perhaps be understood on the ground that the son of the German Under-Secretary of State, von Weizsäcker, is attached to the Kaiser-Wilhem-Institut in Berlin where some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated. Yours very truly Albert Einstein.