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Compared With Invention Of Gunpowder

; N.Z.P.A. Special Correspondent Rec. 10.30 a.m. LONDON, Aug. 7. The news that the first atomic bomb had been dropped on Japan created a sensation in Britain, mixed with a certain amount of foreboding regarding its future use. The dropping of this bomb, says the Manchester Guardian scientific correspondent, is one remarkable events in s i°-nvpntion is to be compared with the invention nf mirmowder and its effect ■perhaps be even more important. Besides offering the earth changing the face ®arto, S fo P r°eTp r iormfthe sola/system Ld other parts of the universe. Thp correspondent recalls that tn conception of the |£mwg worked out in the physicallaboratory at Manchester University by the late Lord Rutherford and it was. there, too, that Lord Ruthei ford artificially disintegrated the atom tJI The correspondent co^nues^ "President Truman states atomic bomb operates on P Qf the similar to that in trie g wag energy in the sun. Pro . explained some University, fessor Bethe, o bon a toms in who showed that caru disintegthe centre of the sun die rated by g ene^ at a \ 0 o n ms A flying with nuclei of hydrogen ato their high intense energy °}™S. transformed temperature. Carbon end into other kinds of atoms & in the production - n and a smaller quantity of caroon great deal of energy. aeain "The cycle then start go that with the remaining d in && TSrW S lnto P e„ W ,

some of which reaches us as light and heat from the sun and is responsible for all the phenomena of life on the earth. In 1939 the German physicist, Otto Hahn, showed that uranium atoms could be disintegrated by neutron's in a somewhat analogous way. Shortly afterwards the great French physicist, Joliot, made experiments that suggested that neutrons might be used to disintegrate uranium atoms so that each disintegration of a uranium atom would be accompanied by the release of more than one neutron, which in turn might disintegrate other uranium atoms. Thus a kind of branching chain of disintegrations might be built up, leading to the explosive discharge of atomic energy. Transcends All Known Experience "Pending further information from Washington, it is natural to suppose that the atomic bomb contains the development or solution of a chain mechanism of this kind. We hear that the new source of energy may be added to coal, oil and water as a source of power, but that it has not yet been developed to that stage, further intensified research being necessary. Commenting on the atomic bomb, the Evening Standard says: L| n * Piiacre draws on experience for its resources and therefore the full meaning of this discovery, which transcends all known experience as yet defies description. Even comparisons fail to provide a scale for its just measurement. Since that first mystic fusion which set life swimming in primeval slime there has been no comparable invention. In the amazement which binds their brains men are so far able to sort ont hut a few dominant impressions. The first is that the Far Eastern war is won. Flesh and blood is inSable of withstanding such devastation as this new weapon causes It Teems that the threat of more atomic bombs to follow the first terrible visitation must in itself lead to surrender Otherwise the Allies will in a few weeks or months invade a Tanan which resembles nothing so much as a quiet, peoples and nitted moon. Next comes for the believer and S alike with the quality of their religion that in the race to rob Nature of this secret that she has Sordid with a thousand cunning S s ft was ourselves and not our enemies who succeeded.

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Bibliographic details

SURPRISE MIXED WITH FOREBODING, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 186, 8 August 1945

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SURPRISE MIXED WITH FOREBODING Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 186, 8 August 1945

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