Just before dawn on July 16, 1945, in the desert of New Mexico, something happened that would forever change the world. Yes, that early morning a plane flew above the desert and lam bang dai hoc an atomic bomb. What happened in just a split second was that the world’s first atomic bomb weapon had released the power of 20,000 tons of conventional explosive.
Only three weeks later it was dropped again but this time it was not a test. It was dropped over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. In a flash the city was destroyed and thousands were killed. The world was in awe by the power of this terrible new weapon. But the men whose plane carried this bomb that dropped upon all these people asked, “My God, what have we done?”
A small piece of uranium had been turned into raw energy. Scientists had suspected for a long time that it was possible. It took the act of war for them to discover how. Once done, the sobering fact now faced them as to the implications of what was to come. What exactly was to come was that this atomic bomb would today be considered firecrackers to the nuclear bombs now made available for man. Now the destruction is measured in megatons. But have we grown so accustomed to hearing this that it no longer impresses the danger that awaits us? This power is capable of bringing mankind to the edge of destruction.
For centuries the idea that matter could not be turned into energy or energy into matter was the theory believed. Albert Einstein understood that this was not totally true. He predicted that the two were in fact interchangeable. This theory rocked the scientific world.
Dr. Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2 where E = energy, m = mass, and c = the speed of light (186,000 miles per second). So what does this mean? If you can transform physical matter into energy the amount of energy produced is equal to the mass of the matter times the speed of light multiplied by itself. (186,000 x 186,000). This means that even the smallest amount of matter is able to produce a phenomenal amount of energy.
Instead of going in to the depths of how the atom was split, which is something I myself don’t truly understand, I will instead explain it in a different way. Think of the nucleus charge of the atom as magnets. If you ever played with magnets you know that they have positive and negative poles. You soon realize that the opposite poles attract and like poles push away from each other, thus taking a lot of force to bring them together. Once you let go the magnets push themselves apart.
There must be a force that counteracts the repelling power. It is called by Physicists “strong force.” It is so strong of a force that for most of mankind’s existence we were not aware that it existed. In fact, it was so strong of a force that nothing man knew of could have possibly persuade it to let go. No wonder scientists thought that the atom was the smallest possible division of matter.
Einstein was right in that E=mc2. Think about the amount of power locked into a speck of matter and when it is transformed into heat and radiation it turns into a bomb. A hydrogen bomb is many times more powerful than an atomic bomb. The energy needed to set off a nuclear bomb is called a thermonuclear reaction. With the making of the hydrogen bomb mankind has succeeded in duplicating the same force that powers the sun.
How could obtaining such knowledge ever have a positive side to it? Could the understanding of the splitting of the atom give us any insight into anything other than destruction? If we are willing, could this give us an insight into how this power is meant for the good of mankind and not the destruction?
When we look at the sun we see a continuous chain of nuclear explosions in unimaginable power. The sun is a giant thermonuclear reactor. It is composed mainly of hydrogen that slowly turns to helium. The sun’s core has tremendous gravitational forces. 250 billion times greater than that of the earth. This gravitational force compresses the hydrogen atoms until the pressure and heat forces a thermonuclear reaction.
The energy is then thrust toward the surface while the great mass of the sun pulls it back. It can take more than 15 million years before the energy makes it way to the surface and escapes as heat and radiation. It is estimated that nearly 4 million tons of hydrogen are transformed into energy every second. There is an inconceivable amount of power within our own sun. Our sun is only one star in a galaxy of millions. How much power lies out there in this awesome universe of ours?
Our Creator made this universe. This understanding of the awesome power that we now have should help us to understand God better. He created everything we see and when we think of how much power it takes to hold together even the smallest of matter seems insignificant when we think of everything God has created.
Can we begin to appreciate how great and powerful God is? I can now understand why mortal man was never allowed to see the full power that radiates from Him. Nothing could survive that experience that is made of flesh and blood. But God has given us some suggestions as to the immensity of the great power He has. Yes, since the beginning of creation His power is seen. Why do so many reject this knowledge of a Creator?
Had scientists been willing to acknowledge a Creator God they would never had dared tamper with the forces that bind the matters in the universe. Within the hands of God these forces are controlled and only used for the good of mankind.