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The Ultimate Weapon Takes Shape


Enrico Fermi designed a device which could eventuate in a chain reaction. It consisted of layer of graphite, alternated with chunk  of uranium. The uranium emitted  neutrons, and the graphite slowed them down. Holes were left for long cadmium safety rods. By withdrawing those control rods Fermi could speed up the production of neutrons, thus increasing the number of uranium atoms which would be split (fussion). When the rods were withdrawn to a critical point, then the neutrons would be produced so fast that the graphite and cadmium could absorb them. In that manner a chain reaction would result. Slowly, Fermi’s first atomic pile began to grow in a subterranean room at Colombia University. The big question remained – was it viable?

  • eventuate- berakhir/berakibat dengan
  • alternated – diselang seling dengan
  • chunk- bongkahan, potongan
  • emitted- memancaran
  • rod – batang
  • thus- dengan demikian
  • subterranean- bawah tanah
  • pile – gundukan, tumpukan
  • viable – dapat terus berjalan

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