posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 03:30 PM
Originally posted by FredT
reply to post by Barla Von
They never were able to enrich uranium nor get a working reactor beyond the crude pile discovered in a cave by US forces. I dont think they got far.
It not thay lacked the brain power rather the material and time.
Actually they did lack the brain power as well. They had some good brains, but the USA had far more---many of them Europeans (including many Jews)
who of course were driven out by Nazi ideology and invasion.
Heisenberg was smart, but the USA had 20-30 people at his level. The A-Bombs required not just theory but immense amounts of practical engineering,
chemistry, metallurgy and experimental insights and achievements. Plus materials and money.
One of the primary issues was that Enrico Fermi figured out a key problem with graphite and neutron scattering.
Both the USA and Germans had figured out that the way to create a nuclear reactor from natural uranium required either heavy water or, better,
graphite. This was from theoretical computations. But when they tested it, both sides found problems with graphite that they didn't understand. So
the Germans went to heavy water which had other effects.
Fermi was sufficiently secure in the computations and had an experimentalist's practical experience to investigate further---it turns out it was a
small chemical contamination from the typical way used to produce graphite which caused the nuclear problem. Once he got new graphite which was made
extra-pure, then everything worked.
Probably from the German command's point of view, the A-bomb was seen (rightfully from their side) as a long-term far off project, maybe paying off
20 years in the future. If they weren't victorious before that, then it would all be irrelevant, so rocketry was emphasized more.
Captured German scientists heard about the US bombing of Hiroshima. They totally disbelieved that the US had actually constructed a working A-bomb by
then, they were sure they had been in the lead when Germany fell, and they were pretty far off.