Nazi Germany developed nuclear weapons during World War II, which is a recognized fact in the field of history. However, many mysteries remain to be solved. This book was first published by German historian Peter Schneider in 2005. This book not only analyzes the context of Germany’s wartime nuclear program, but also draws a series of subversive conclusions based on the latest declassified historical data.
a series of unusual experiments
on Christmas Eve 1938, Professor Otto Hahn completed a series of unusual experiments at the Emperor William Institute of chemistry in Durham, Berlin. He bombarded element 92 uranium with neutrons and was surprised to find that the uranium nucleus “broke” in this process, Becoming is no longer two parts of uranium, which is the phenomenon of atomic fission.
Hahn was not sure about the experimental results, so he wrote a letter to his former colleague Liz maitner and told her all his questions. Maitner called his nephew Otto Frisch, a physicist, and finally they thought of using the famous scholar Niels Bohr’s “droplet model” to explain the problem.
“droplet model” shows that the operation form of heavy nuclei is roughly like dripping liquid, which can be stretched and compressed like a balloon filled with water. In a particularly heavy atomic nucleus (such as uranium nucleus), if its overall surface tension is weakened due to the impact of external additional force, the situation will become similar to a balloon filled with water. Under the repeated action of external force, the surface thickness becomes thinner, so that the whole balloon becomes large and heavy. Then, the “balloon” was gently poked to form a certain sufficient environmental condition for the purpose of the sudden bursting of the atomic nucleus.
the mystery of atomic fission has been solved. Metner and Frisch went further: the two parts of the smashed uranium nucleus are theoretically lighter than the atoms before splitting. The reduced mass is partially converted into energy, and this conversion value is considerable. In other words, there is amazing destructive power in the process of atomic fission.
on January 6, 1939, Otto Hahn published his series of experimental results, which immediately caused a sensation in the field of physics. Three months later, Professor Paul Hartke of the University of Hamburg wrote to the military department of the Third Reich and raised the feasibility of developing nuclear explosives: “the first country to use such nuclear explosives will have advantages that other countries cannot surpass.”
the military has the right to manage the nuclear program
as far as the military is concerned, the importance of nuclear fission can be described as extraordinary. The first one pushed to the front stage is the army Ordnance Bureau, which is in charge of the R & D and manufacturing of German army weapons and equipment and munitions.
physicist Erich Schumann has been the director of the research division of the Army Ordnance bureau since 1934. According to the theory of administrative level, Schumann is equivalent to a deputy minister of the government, while in the military system, he is an official and worships a major general of the army. Since Schumann was obsessed with the creation of Military March and spent a lot of time on postdoctoral papers on oboe timbre, critics belittled him as a “charlatan”, but later it turned out that they underestimated his organizational talent in scientific research.
opportunities soon emerged, which was a meeting convened by Schumann’s superior general Carl Becker in mid June 1939. Becker had previously read a paper by the William emperor Institute of chemistry, which made the following assumption: “the energy accumulated in the uranium metal oxide with a volume of 1 cubic meter is enough to lift the water with a volume of 1 cubic kilometer (with a total weight of 10 trillion kg) to a height of 27000 meters.”
this is what Becker is interested in. He instructed Schumann and others to immediately assemble a nuclear physics research team. The best way is through conscription. Within a few days, Erich Bagh received a conscription order from the ordnance Bureau. The young man is an assistant of Werner Heisenberg, a great master of theoretical physics. He has just obtained his Ph.D. degree. He was asked to report to Schumann.
50 years later, Bager’s experience of that meeting was compiled into words. At that time, he “opened his mouth and asked: ‘what are you doing here?’ the military people who received him smiled strangely: ‘do something related to the atomic bomb!'” after a long time, the conversation material provided by Bager was suspicious, because there was no term “atomic bomb” in 1939, but anyway, His memories do reflect the atmosphere of that era.
many research groups fought their own battles.
the research approach chosen by the Germans was different from the path taken by the Americans and the Soviets in the future. The research work on the “uranium project” was carried out through hundreds of scientists belonging to 19 different institutions. Isotope separation and reactor construction are the first two tasks. They are placed under the name of key topics with equal importance. Their research results lead the “uranium project” to develop in two different directions: the construction of energy production equipment and the raw materials needed to make nuclear bombs.
the army, navy and air force also have their own deployment. The three armed forces have technical resources respectively, and they also obviously involve the field of nuclear physics in terms of task allocation. The military research team has a clear positioning and has no horizontal connection with general academic research. The expectation of the German military is to develop new explosives and small nuclear reactors.
so does the Ss have an independent nuclear physics research team? Of course not at first. Later, driven by ambition, the “black Brotherhood” (referring to the SS) also entered the ranks of nuclear physics research. It should be noted that the SS is involved in this field by virtue of its supreme privilege. They want to exert decisive influence at all levels of society. Intellectuals were recruited into the organization and given a “special mission”,It plays an important role in industry, military and science and technology.
it can be seen that there are obvious differences with the situation of the United States and the Soviet Union. In Nazi Germany, there was no large-scale comprehensive nuclear program concentrated in a specific region, and all kinds of research teams scattered all over the country like pepper. This situation makes communication between scientists difficult, but it benefits a lot in terms of confidentiality.