(Pg. 13) In late December 1938, in the German capital of Berlin, a chemist named Otto Hahn set up a new experiment in his lab.
I will tell Roosevelt
(Pg. 19) But this much was clear: Fission had been discovered in Berlin. Probably, German physicists were already working on an atomic bomb. This was a terrifying thought, especially since six months had already passed since Han’s discovery, and the American president, Franklin Roosevelt, still had no idea that such a thing existed
(Pg. 19) Step one of their plan was to find Albert Einstein, the world’s most famous scientist. If Einstein sounded the alarm about the danger of a German atomic bomb, President Roosevelt might listen.
They told Einstein about the newest discoveries in fission and explained how uranium might be used to build devastating bombs. Einstein quickly realized that with atomic bombs, Adolf Hitler would be absolutely unstoppable. “He volunteered to do whatever he could to prevent it.” He took notes as Szilard and Einstein worked out the text of a letter to President Roosevelt.
(Pg. 20) On October 11, in Washington, D.C., an economistnamed Alexander Sachs showed his ID to security guards outside the white house,he walked into the building with Albert Einstein’s letter in his briefcase.
(Pg. 22) within weeks of getting Einstein’s letter, President Roosevelt formed the Uranium committee, a group of military leaders and scientists. Their goal was to figure out the basics of how an atomic bomb might work, and what materials would be needed.