Who invented the atomic bomb?
During World War II, the United States, with the assistance (collaboration) of physicists, mathematicians, and engineers from the U.S., Britain, Canada and Germany (former Nazi physicists), completed the Manhattan Project to produce the first atomic bomb.
(The project started as the "Manhattan District Engineers" and only became "The Manhattan Project" some time later).
There was some early speculation about the possibility of what could be done if a nuclear chain reaction was unleashed in a way that would allow it to build without control. For a roll call, consider that Robert Oppenheimer was the head of "science" for the Manhattan Project, and (in alphabetical order) Felix Block, David Bohm, Niels Bohr, Enrico Fermi, James Franck, Otto Frisch, Klaus Fuchs, Rudolf Peierls, Emilio Segre, Leo Szilard, Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner all played crucial roles in getting the weapon designed and built.
The physicist Albert Einstein did not participate directly in the invention of the atomic bomb-but was instrumental in facilitating its development. His Special Theory of Relativity emphasized that a large amount of energy could be released from a small amount of matter. This was expressed by the equation E=mc2 (energy = mass times the speed of light squared). The atomic bomb would clearly illustrate this principle.
The first demonstration of "the gadget" (the code name for the first atomic bomb) was at Trinity site in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and it proved that the weapon would detonate and that the chain would build as predicted. The second and third demonstrations were conducted in Japan, which brought a quick end to the Second World War. Just up to and during World War 2, Germany was also working to develop atomic weapons, but was hampered by many technical and political problems (including sabotage and Allied bombings) which prevented their successfully completing their work. This left the U.S. as the only nation...