CREDIT: Director of recreations
It began innocently enough. In 1938, two German chemists accidentally discovered how to split the nucleus of the uranium atom: nuclear fission. Einstein’s E=mc2 equation predicted that the amount of energy released from just one atom would be enormous.
Physicists all over the world immediately realized that fission might make a bomb of extraordinary power — and that Nazi Germany might be capable of creating one. The fear of Adolph Hitler getting a nuclear weapon led to a race to deter him by developing such a bomb first. Thus began a chain of events that would lead inexorably to Hiroshima, the nuclear arms race, the hydrogen bomb, the Cuban Missile Crisis and some of the greatest fear and tension ever in world history.