Einstein did not participate in the Manhattan Project. Linus Pauling claims that Einstein eventually regretted signing the letter since it resulted in the creation and use of the atomic bomb in war, and that Einstein rationalized his choice by citing the larger threat that Nazi Germany might create the bomb first. Others have argued that this is nothing more than a myth created by Pauling for publicity purposes.
However, there is evidence that supports the claim that Einstein felt guilty about the development of the atom bomb. In 1970, physicist Robert Adler wrote an article for The New York Review of Books in which he quoted from two letters that Albert Einstein had written to Israel Rosenfeld in 1955-1956. In these letters, Einstein said that in the future wars would be fought with nuclear weapons and that this would result in humanity's destruction. Adler claimed that this shows that even after they became famous, Einstein and Oppenheimer still believed that their efforts were being used for evil purposes and felt guilty about it.
In addition, there are other examples of comments made by Einstein that support the claim that he felt guilty about the development of the atom bomb. For example, in 1950, when asked if he wanted the world to become like heaven on earth, his reply was yes and no. He explained that he wanted there to be peace, but not at the price of destroying humanity.
Einstein was not engaged in the development of the bomb. He was not allowed to work on the Manhattan Project because he was both German and a renowned left-wing political activist, making him a security risk. However, the evidence suggests that if offered a position with equal status to that of Robert Oppenheimer, he would have accepted it.
In fact, letters exist showing that he recommended several colleagues for positions within the project. And there are reports that when General Leslie Groves, the head of the project, asked him if he would accept a position as one of its three members, his answer was yes. But the government refused to let him go abroad or travel more than 100 miles from Princeton, New Jersey where he lived at the time. So apparently they found another way to solve their problem: they just ignored him.
He died in 1955 but not before he saw the first test explosion of a hydrogen bomb, which led him to conclude that such bombs were too dangerous to be used. Indeed, they are quite dangerous, but that is not what killed off the project. What killed it off was that Einstein didn't want anyone else to develop them.
Concerned that Germany was creating an atomic bomb, Einstein wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking the United States to speed its own work on nuclear weapons in order to discourage the Germans from utilizing any that they may produce. "Woe is me," he said when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
A nuclear weapon Einstein wrote to US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in August 1939 to warn him that the Nazis were developing a new and deadly weapon: an atomic bomb. Fellow scientist Leo Szilard encouraged Einstein to send the letter and assisted him in writing it. In it, Einstein warned that if the Nazi program succeeded, "the entire world will be destroyed." He also told Roosevelt that he was willing to help develop American defenses against such a device.
Einstein died in 1955 but his idea of splitting atoms to produce energy has been used since then by many scientists. In 1982, Ronald Reagan announced at the White House that the United States had successfully tested an atomic bomb. The news came as a surprise to most people because Reagan at first denied that America had carried out the test. The president later said that he wanted to tell the public about the test before it was reported by other countries. Israel is known to have developed nuclear weapons technology on its own without help from any country.
In 1989, Congress passed legislation authorizing the development of nuclear weapons for use by the United States. The bill allowed presidents to permit limited tests of nuclear weapons and established a committee called the Nuclear Posture Review Board to advise the president on U.S. nuclear policies. It also required the president to report to Congress every five years on plans to reduce America's nuclear arsenal.
Answer: The scale of the devastation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki shocked Einstein. He addressed a public letter to the United Nations. He urged the establishment of a global government to put an end to the use of nuclear weapons.
Einstein's plea fell on deaf ears. The world has been at war for most of his life. He believed that the only way to prevent future wars was by building a more peaceful world. But he knew this would not be easy.
Einstein left Japan on August 24, 1945, just three days after the second atomic bomb was dropped. He returned home to Germany where he continued to work on his theory of relativity.
But the horrors of World War II had changed him. He opposed the development of nuclear weapons and helped found the organization that continues to this day: Anti-Nuclear Movement.
In 1955, Einstein wrote a book called "The Universe Is Friendly". In it, he argued that we need not fear for the survival of Earth. He said that humanity must learn to live in peace with one another or be destroyed by ourselves.
Einstein died in 1955 at the age of 75. But his message of hope and peace lives on.
The scale of the devastation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki shocked Einstein.
In his private correspondence, however, he expressed doubt that such a government could be established. He also questioned whether nuclear war was really so bad for humans.
Einstein died in 1955, more than half a century after he first published his ideas on relativity. But many other scientists have followed suit with new theories about the impact of nuclear explosions. They too have called for a ban on these weapons.
But when he learned that the bomb was deployed on Japan, he said, "Woe is me." "Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic weapon, I would have done nothing toward the bomb," Einstein subsequently declared. "I was afraid they might use it against Israel or some other first-rate power."
In his will, Einstein called for a ban on nuclear weapons. He believed that such weapons were too dangerous to be owned by any one country.
After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many people came to believe that the world could not afford another war. Einstein's friend and colleague Bertrand Russell wrote about his reaction to hearing of Hiroshima: "This seems to me absolutely inevitable, if we are to avoid wasting human life."
At the age of 76, shortly before his death, Einstein sent a letter to President Truman advocating nuclear disarmament. The president received this letter on August 2, 1950. It reads as follows:
"Dear Mr. President:
"Nuclear weapons should be eliminated. They are contrary to the spirit of civilization."
Einstein died three months later, in September 1950.