Could Werner Heisenberg Have Built an Atomic Bomb

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theblueofnoon
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Could Werner Heisenberg Have Built an Atomic Bomb

Post by theblueofnoon » 15 Oct 2002 08:44

[Moved from the Polls section]


What do you guys think could Heisenberg have built the bomb or couldnt he have. It is an ongoing contraversy. I personally think he could have if he wanted to. Let me know what you guys think because it really goes either way.-adam

gabriel pagliarani
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Deutsche A-Bomb

Post by gabriel pagliarani » 16 Oct 2002 19:06

Interesting matter... the real question is: Hitler had a possibility to collect sufficient brains to effort a "counter-Manhattan nazi-project?" Your question is wrong by its own definition: a man all alone (solo) could not perform a so much complicate project. This is true for Fermi,Oppenheimer ect. ect.: without a great team a single "beatiful mind" was not able to produce the bomb. Probably Nazists had a chance before 1938: after the Nobel to Otto Hahn and the escape of Fermi in Usa not at all.

gabriel pagliarani
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Deutsche A-Bomb

Post by gabriel pagliarani » 16 Oct 2002 19:07

Interesting matter... the real question is: Hitler had a possibility to collect sufficient brains to effort a "counter-Manhattan nazi-project?" Your question is wrong by its own definition: a man all alone (solo) could not perform a so much complicate project. This is true for Fermi,Oppenheimer ect. ect.: without a great team a single "beatiful mind" was not able to produce the bomb. Probably Nazists had a chance before 1938: after the Nobel to Otto Hahn and the escape of Fermi in Usa not at all.

theblueofnoon
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Post by theblueofnoon » 17 Oct 2002 04:36

I guess I should have specified a bit. What I meant by could Heisenberg have built a bomb was more could him and has team have(since he was in charge I kind of meant to imply it). As far as me saying he could have, that with more funding from Speer and maybe a bit more dedication to testing and such he would have been able. We all know from the british tapes that he was off on the amount of plutonium(by alought might I add) so we know that he hadnt figured out yet. But i do think with more funding he could have made one after all he was EXTREMELY close.thanks-adam

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 17 Oct 2002 06:21

I voted NO, because Heisenberg didn't know what he was doing. He was a brilliant theoretical physicist but not an experimental scientist, and he certainly was not a military engineer. He made many fundamental mistakes in atomic energy research.
:)

Logan Hartke
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Post by Logan Hartke » 17 Oct 2002 06:24

The Norwegian commandos wouldn't have allowed it, even if Heisenberg could've successfully designed it.

Logan Hartke

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 17 Oct 2002 06:45

Logan Hartke wrote:The Norwegian commandos wouldn't have allowed it, even if Heisenberg could've successfully designed it.

The thing is, Germany didn't need the heavy water that he was waiting for; that was a blind alley.

After the commando attack on the Vemork heavy water high-concentration plant, including sinking a barge containing a priceless heavy-water shipment, and then the Allied bombing of the town and the Norwegian fertilizer plant itself, the Germans dispersed D2O production. After getting asistance from the Swedes to rebuild the ammonia plant, of which D2O was a byproduct, the Germans shipped low concetration heavy-water to Germany in multiple shipments, none of which were too important. Furthermore, the same was done at a hydroelectric plant in Italy. The low-concentrations were then sent to Germany for high-concentration. Germany was short on electrical power and that's why the whole works was not produced there.

But pure-carbon would have been a better moderator than D2O. The experiments could have been done with dry-ice, and the first reactors built with pure graphite and replicated Fermi's work (who was an expert experimental physicist). German scientists had made a mistake measuring the neutron moderation of graphite because the samples were not pure. But they could have used dry-ice for these criticality experiments and answered that question.

Btw, Falkenhorst wiped-out any possibility of a repeated commando attack with extensive security sweeps.
:)

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Post by gabriel pagliarani » 17 Oct 2002 14:10

Exactly, Sir Scott!
the only source of 99% pure graphite was in USA. But Heisemberg tried to use D2O both as coolant and as moderator...actually used on neutron high-speed breeding reactors used for producing Plutonium and Polonium208 for H & N nukes. Heisemberg tried to jump (..only on charts, fortunately) the Chicago experiment to the second stage: the breeding reactor producing Plutonium. This happened because Germany had a lot of U238 and only a few of fixiles.They tried to use Fluorine (..from Italian east Alps: the same factory of Deuterium) to produce UF6 gas necessary for splitting fixiles and not-fixiles Uranium isothopes, but the problem was that 1 kg U235 is disperded n 1000 kg of U 238...Germany had not a so wide amount of raw Uranium from Czech pechplende or belgan reseves. So Heisemberg thought directly to a Plutonium A-bomb, but a lot of his own theories about were wrong (...but to be corrected easily experimentally) Hitler stopped his own plan.

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Post by cybercat » 14 Nov 2002 04:44

No he was miles behind. Take a look at the book "Science and the Swastika" by Adrian Weale

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