By Steve Sheinkin

Theme #1- Trust

In World War II almost every country was set out to build the ultimate weapon. The physics community, at the time just found out the energy released by certain atoms when they had particles shot at them. This left scientists to be split up between nations to put up against each other to see who could use this energy from the atoms to build an atomic bomb.

In this story the United States gathers its most prestigious scientists in multiple locations to work on their atomic bomb project, called the Manhattan Project. They Pick Robert Oppenheimer to be one of the main physicists in this project. The United States has to trust Oppenheimer with their secrets, even though Oppenheimer is to be a known Communist sympathizer. All of the scientist also had to be trusted to be in the project, because at the time, most of the top scientists were of European nationality, but were working in the US. The lack of trust was present in this operation as well. The United States was displaying a lack of trust with many other countries like the USSR. Instead of trusting the USSR with what we already knew, the US just kept their physics. If the US collaborated with the USSR they would have made the atomic bomb much faster, and probably had better relations during the Cold War.

Theme #2- Be well rounded

Being well rounded is a good thing when trying to achieve your goals. Whether it be sports, academics, or building a weapon of mass destruction, being well rounded will make this process much faster and easier to achieve. In the book it mainly focused on the Physics of the bomb, but it takes much more to build it than just knowing the science behind it. You're going to need engineers, maintenance, and people that specialize in ergonomics if you think your going to make a bomb. Other than just building the bomb, The US implemented other projects that help increase the speed of the Manhattan Project, and slowed down the process for our opposition. One of these side projects was sabotage. In the book their were militants that were sent out to destroy a heavy water plant. Since heavy water is a main ingredient to make an atomic bomb, it was a key to slowing down the Nazi atomic program. Spying is also prevalent. Soviet spies were sent to the US to take our information, and vice versa.
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How the Themes are Related

We had to trust and collaborate with other countries and a wide variety of people in all areas of science, construction, military, etc. to achieve our final goal of creating the atomic bomb, and win the war. It shows that we must diversify our selves and work with other people to get what we want.

Dylan Filippo