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Playing with fire to keep you safe.

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posted on Jan, 12 2012 @ 09:33 PM
July 16, 1945, at the Trinity test site in New Mexico, Robert Oppenheimer watched the first atomic bomb explode and uttered the famous words "Now, I am become death, destroyer of worlds".
Oppenheimer later admits he did not know if the chain reaction would spread across the globe and possibly destroy the planet.
August 6, 1945, Colonel Paul Tibbets pilots the Enola Gay which carries a nuclear weapon called "Little Boy" over Hiroshima, Japan. Tibbets improvises a rapid dive after the bomb is released, the dive results in accelerated speed and puts the plane 11 miles from ground zero when the detonation occurs. No one had any idea at the time what a safe distance was.
July 25, 1946, the US begins testing different materials and processes in Bikini Atoll during operation crossroads. A fleet of salvaged ships is gathered in the water to test the effects of the bombs, an explosion code named "Baker" happens under water and results in a large condensation cloud that is highly radioactive, nobody expected it.
March 1, 1954, the US decides to test the isotope lithium-7 in a fusion bomb, it is expected to have a yield of 5 mega tons. The blast, code named Castle Bravo, is much larger than they imagined with a yield of 15 mega tons. The safety bunker 22 miles from the blast is evacuated with the scientists wearing bed sheets as a form of improvised protection from the soaring radiation levels. The larger yield was the unexpected byproduct of the fusion of lithium-6 and lithium-7.
The pattern is pretty clear, these brilliant scientists are capable of designing weapons of mass destruction but they are not able to consider all of the potential consequences of their actions.

posted on Jan, 14 2012 @ 05:26 AM
reply to post by Trublbrwing

The key word here is experimentation. One does not test a theory, if one believes he has discovered everything there is to know, about the subject of his researches.
The incidents you refer to, the experimentation and improvisation you mention, are in pure scientific terms, the height of intellectual endevour, and at the time they were carried out, utterly ground breaking work. Those atomic tests, as vile and honourless as such weapons were, and still are today, taught the scientific community so much that they would never have known , had they never occurred.

Marie Curie was a pioneer of medical applications of radioactivity, but she died as a result of exposure to what turned out to be very dangerous materials. She did not know at the time exactly how dangerous what she was doing with Radium, and other radiological matter was, because there was no documented evidence to suggest that the elements with which she was associated throughout her career were so deadly dangerous when exposure reached a certain limit.

Nobel himself made his most famous discovery almost by accident. Many of humanities greatest endevours , came about through adversity, and often thier order of events ran counter to the intent of the discoverers, explorers, inventors and crackpots we think of as heros of thier disciplines today. How many continents were first explored by explorers who had lost thier way? How many oddities of physics, chemistry, and biology were stumbled upon during unrelated proceedings? How many medical advances have been discovered through the actions of those who would seek to END life, rather than by those who would seek to preserve it?

The paradoxical and curious nature of human learning, is a fascinating topic. Equally interesting is the thought that if we stopped ploughing our way into the unknown, there is a very good chance we would rapidly cease to exist as a species, because our entire history as a creature apart from others on this earth, is down to our striving, curious, approach to understanding the world around us. Science is the tool we use to examine the bones of our existance, and understand our passage through time past, our presence in the present, and our place in the future. It has saved, and doomed us all , countless times in our history. Every new way to destroy, and every new way to save a life, all conspire to make the history of the development of science a perfect example of the balance of things, light and dark, good and evil. Which ever way you look at it though, the people who play with fire are heros more often than not, because it is they who risk the heaviest burns to the fingers, to ensure that the rest of us keep out feet out of the flames.


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