Why Einstein Thought Nuclear Weapons Impossible

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Veritasium

2 år sedan

Without neutrons, harnessing nuclear energy would be impossible.
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A few years ago I made a documentary about uranium, radioactivity and radiation. I always thought of the characters in our story as the scientists and maybe the uranium nucleus itself. It was only through making the documentary that I realized the real hero of the story is the neutron. Without a neutral nuclear particle, it would be virtually impossible to release the energy from the nucleus. But with it, and the idea of a chain reaction, nuclear energy went from science fiction to reality. That is something I had not grasped as clearly before and it motivated me to make this video.
Filmed by Raquel Nuno.

Kommentarer
blackcid
blackcid Dag sedan
Nice, now we know how to make our own homemade nuclear weapon.
William O'Hara
William O'Hara 2 dagar sedan
Einstein looks at world war ll: I million facepalms
Galev
Galev 2 dagar sedan
Huh, so interesting to learn that even some decades ago science thought impossible what is mundane today. If it was possible then, then who knows, maybe fusion reactiors can become a reality too, some day.
BipolarBipolarBipolarBear
BipolarBipolarBipolarBear 5 dagar sedan
you dont give men a car. because if you do, they will put a gun on it and make someone else suffer. what would have happend if we neither had the bomb, nor the power plant? would it be worth the trade? hard to say today, but back then, probabaly more reasonable to go the safe way. these quotes were 10 and 15 years after the first ww. quite understandable imo
Raoul Pechler
Raoul Pechler 6 dagar sedan
they may be a stupid question but how can a nucleus keep splitting into more neutrons? where are they comming from?
UNSTOPPABLE_DUCKY
UNSTOPPABLE_DUCKY 7 dagar sedan
See? I don't care how much "scientific evidence" there is to backup needing Infinite Energy, I will always absolutely refuse to believe you need infinite energy to exceed the speed of light, (FYI)the first publicly known nuke was 1945 or 75 years ago .And if Albert Einstein was that wrong about something we did it 75 years ago. and we already have thousands to tens of thousands of particle accelerators the project particles in the 90s percent the speed of light, what makes you think Albert Einstein will be right about something we will likely do in hundreds to hundreds of thousands of years from now.
Porfirio Ruth
Porfirio Ruth 8 dagar sedan
"If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right; but if he says that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong." -Arthur C. Clarke
John Tomasik
John Tomasik 16 dagar sedan
Curious whether Veritasium has done anything about the new nuclear reactors? My understanding (not an expert....just read a few articles) is that the new reactors are very safe and some don't produce the waste of the old reactors. Using the new reactors, we could stop all of the expendable fuel use and those weak, low-energy producing renewable energy methods.
Proton
Proton 17 dagar sedan
So kids, be neutral to cause an explosion
Christopher allen sutton
Christopher allen sutton 17 dagar sedan
did you know that the energy released in an atomic bomb is like 1.8 % of the overall energy of the uranium atom?i think that is why they di so contaminate...god ting humans are too stupid to really do anything right.
mba applications
mba applications 20 dagar sedan
so when stephen hwaking said time travel is not possible , that means we will be able to time travel in future
Maestrul Gamer
Maestrul Gamer 21 dag sedan
Einstein:Such a weapon would ruin the world,there's no way someone would be stupid enought to use it!!! U.S. a few years later:Hahaha,city nuking go boom boom!!
Maria Theresa P
Maria Theresa P 23 dagar sedan
Im fascinated about the idea of generating energy but solely in the application of advancement in ease of living standards for human civilization and not as a weapon for massive destruction.
Aeronaut
Aeronaut 23 dagar sedan
The title lmao.
1281 - Vishwas Kulkarni
1281 - Vishwas Kulkarni 24 dagar sedan
Derek: this video is possible due to you and audible *YT AdSense cries in corner*
Paul Spencer
Paul Spencer 24 dagar sedan
What blows my mind is how the smallest things create a power that we can't comprehend!
len kagamine
len kagamine 24 dagar sedan
Maybe he knows it can exist but he doesn't want it because he know we may use it for something evil
Ryu
Ryu 25 dagar sedan
How is single neutron removed from atom, what i want to ask is to split uranium atom you need to bombard it with at least one initial neutron , where does this initial neutron comes from.
Donald Boettger
Donald Boettger 21 dag sedan
In the original bombs, there was a small initiator device in the middle of the core, designed specifically to produce a burst of neutrons at the proper moment to start the chain reaction. Those devices consisted of a highly radioactive element that was designed to mix with a second element that gave off neutrons when irradiated. More modern weapons use a miniature particle accelerator located outside the core to flood the core with neutrons.
avm boi
avm boi 26 dagar sedan
That's exactly what I thought crossing the road today.
awesomeferret
awesomeferret 28 dagar sedan
Actually look into why the Chernobyl disaster happened and you'll be disappointed with how irresponsible he was in the way he mentioned it, as if it's actually possible for a nuclear reactor to turn into a nuclear bomb (it's not, hence why that's NEVER happened ONCE, remember they are called nuclear reactor MELTDOWNS).
Allan Thomas
Allan Thomas 29 dagar sedan
But how could we make a neutron strike a nucleus?? How will we separate one neutron and make it strike the nucleus at a high speed. Can you please explain sir?
wasilus
wasilus 29 dagar sedan
Because he was dumb?
Waxaan Jeclahay Naxwaha
Waxaan Jeclahay Naxwaha 2 timmar sedan
Because the neutron hadn't yet been invented
S.P.K
S.P.K 29 dagar sedan
3:23 The answer to the question starts here.
Raphael Roshwalb
Raphael Roshwalb Månad sedan
Hold up, you said you like taking ur bike up the hill. Okkkk thennn
sunny meenu
sunny meenu Månad sedan
Goood Video!
DuggeeO
DuggeeO Månad sedan
5:20 that’s not gonna work because the amount of moving parts is gonna make u crash
phorzer32
phorzer32 Månad sedan
Now I wanna have one of this enegy-stones...
Brandon Sierra
Brandon Sierra Månad sedan
belle delphine
Mirai Akari
Mirai Akari Månad sedan
rowan
P Hampshire
P Hampshire Månad sedan
Millikan lived to see the nuclear bomb, Rutherford didn't.
Gabriele Sforzini
Gabriele Sforzini Månad sedan
is the 2.5 neutron freest of uranium an average? how do i give only half neutron?
Donald Boettger
Donald Boettger 21 dag sedan
Yes, it's an average. It depends on how the U-235 atom comes apart. Most fission events produce two neutrons, but some produce three.
Vishesh Agarwal
Vishesh Agarwal Månad sedan
So basically a Writer thought of Nuclear reaction before any scientists.
Saviour Machine
Saviour Machine Månad sedan
Efficiency and progress is ours once more , now that we have the neutron bomb, it's nice and quick and clean, and gets things done...
ahmet mutlu
ahmet mutlu Månad sedan
So neo zalo is one of the actual finders of nuclear reactin/atom bomb ;p
rota m8
rota m8 Månad sedan
another thing that controls fission is a more dilute 235 source
Jorge Alonso
Jorge Alonso Månad sedan
H. G. Wells: *They said it could not be done*
mediocre man
mediocre man Månad sedan
And the “best” thing: Leó Szilárd was a Jew. Exactly the kind of people driven away by the ideology of Germany back in the day. Interesting to think, that, without those maniacs, Germany could be the leading nation of science today. But this is what racism does, it always destroys the country it festers in.
Opecuted
Opecuted Månad sedan
we have good vaccines...i guess
Gabriele Amore
Gabriele Amore Månad sedan
What about lise meitner?
Charles Desmonda
Charles Desmonda Månad sedan
They may not have been impossible to build but that doesn't mean we should've built them. Production of any weapon that can wipe out the entire earth should be illegal in every nation.
That default over there
That default over there Månad sedan
It’s ironic that he thought nukes were impossible, and then people used E=MC^2 to create a nuke
Sabiki Kasukō
Sabiki Kasukō Månad sedan
Looking back it may seem like all of them were downright wrong, and yeah it was right. But look at that, Einstein literally knew not only why it wasn't possible -based on current knowledge of the world- but was so sure that he also know how it could theorically possible. We're talking about a man that understood reality so well that he knew that out-of-the-universe mechanics we'd need to do this individual action. They were limited by their times and the knowledge they could harness, it was just impossible because back then they knew of no element capable of doing the necessary thing, and they knew of no way of executing it either. Now it seems obvious but we simply know more. A friend of mine calls it "the curse of knowledge".
Youtube2 Snoopy
Youtube2 Snoopy Månad sedan
Einstein was instrumental in getting the United States to develop the nuclear bomb. He had been told the Germans were likely going to develop one so he wrote a letter to President Roosevelt... which started the Manhattan Project. So Einstein definitely didn't think nuclear weapons were impossible then.
Islami Incognito
Islami Incognito Månad sedan
Relativity Jew....
Heisenberg-SchrodingerEmc2
Heisenberg-SchrodingerEmc2 Månad sedan
Fun Fact: Albert Einstein created most of the truly novel ideas in quantum mechanics. It was Einstein, not Planck, who first proposed that light was a particle called the photon. The discovery of the first force-carrying particle was made by the most famous scientist of all time. But he wasn't finished, in his brilliant paper on the specific heat of solids he officially quantized the radiation field. Einstein discovered wave-particle duality and matter waves 14 years before De Broglie. Einstein, before Max Born, correctly derived probability waves which directly inspired the Born Rule. Einstein was the first to predict quantum entanglement (albeit as a disproof), which leads to quantum information theory. Einstein, not Bose, was the first to predict the Boson, an original state of matter wherein the random jigglying of thermal radiation cools down to a superfluid/superconducting state of matter. It was Einstein, not Heisenberg, who introduced intrinsic randomness into quantum mechanics with his brilliant paper on Spontaneous and Stimulated Emission (codified in the Einstein A and B Coefficients). As some body who works in physics for a living, my jaw drops when I read one of Einstein's old papers. Dude was so far ahead of his time, it's comical. According to head of applied physics at Yale University , Douglas Stone, Einstein would have won anywhere from 7 to 12 Nobel Prizes had all his seminal contributions been written by different people. Greatest Scientists of all time: 1. Einstein.... 2. Newton. 3. Darwin.
iG W
iG W Månad sedan
First time I'm not satisfied... Can you please show us?
Out of Blue Pills
Out of Blue Pills Månad sedan
Can anyone explain how power plant engineers do balance on the knife edge? If control rods are inserted ever so slightly too far, even if the number of neutrons smashing into atoms during iteration n+1 is only 1% less than during iteration n, then after a mere 1000 iterations (i.e., a tiny fraction of a second) the number of neutrons smashing into atoms per iteration will have fallen by 99.9957%, and the chain reaction will end within a fraction of a second. On the other hand, if control rods are inserted ever so slightly not far enough, even if the number of neutrons smashing into atoms during iteration n+1 is only 1% GREATER than during iteration n, then after a mere 1000 iterations (i.e., a tiny fraction of a second) the number of neutrons smashing into atoms per iteration will have essentially doubled, and the chain reaction will spin out of control (becoming an atomic bomb) within a fraction of a second. It seems like the only way to have a self-sustaining (but not runaway) chain reaction is for the control rods to be positioned PERFECTLY, such that all of the extra neutrons freed by fission during iteration n are absorbed before they can smash into atoms during iteration n+1. In other words, the number of neutrons smashing into atoms has to be COMPLETELY stable (i.e., the same during iterations n, n+1, n+2, etc). This seems like an engineering impossibility, to move control rods so unbelievably precisely and so fast that the number of neutrons flying around never fluctuates essentially at all. So, what am I missing? Is the chain reaction just the principle behind the atomic bomb but NOT the principle behind the nuclear power plant?
Donald Boettger
Donald Boettger 21 dag sedan
Power reactors take advantage of something called the "delayed fraction". Sometimes an atom doesn't split immediately when it's hit by a neutron. Instead, it kind of wobbles around for awhile and then fissions. That may take several seconds. It's not predictable for any specific atom, but it's entirely predictable statistically for a large number of atoms. The delayed neutron fraction allows enough time for the necessary control. (In any case, the fuel in power reactors is dispersed widely and can't reach a supercritical mass like the core of a bomb.)
Mark Leon
Mark Leon Månad sedan
Probably he was dumb AF
Chris B
Chris B Månad sedan
3:14 raise a grain a sand to where? You mean against gravity? If so how high? Are you getting confused between force and energy?
Veritasium
Veritasium Månad sedan
The thickness of a piece of paper, it’s said in the video.
Takka
Takka Månad sedan
*it's easy. Because the nuclear weapons we have now isn't actually the nuclear that all of these famous scientist are talking about*
chetan Sood
chetan Sood Månad sedan
Great story
Flat Earth
Flat Earth Månad sedan
Pay attention this video.think deeply and then judge it, because Earth is flat, thank you. www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOmmPv omen&t=1748s
Taldren
Taldren Månad sedan
What about Th232 ?
I don't know
I don't know Månad sedan
Humans: discover nuclear energy, Also humans: let's use it to destroy ourselves
Pradhumn Kanase
Pradhumn Kanase Månad sedan
@Coder Dude yes they have
Coder Dude
Coder Dude Månad sedan
Yes but it can not be denied that n bombs have prevented large wars between countries for decades. Mutually assured destruction prevents wars
Helo Joeywala
Helo Joeywala Månad sedan
*lets use it to destroy other people*
Hqstupidlab
Hqstupidlab Månad sedan
You’re missing a word.
James Misson
James Misson Månad sedan
@Heathrow aviator
Lee Przytula
Lee Przytula Månad sedan
Einstein also thought Gremlins were impossible.
Randall Price
Randall Price Månad sedan
It was the theory of applied thermodynamics that made it possible.
Kevin Svan son
Kevin Svan son Månad sedan
Am I missing something or should the title hava a "were"
WormholeJim
WormholeJim Månad sedan
Right up until the very moment of the Trinity test, there was an irrefutable hypothesis in the group that the energy released in the explosion would go on to ignite the atmosphere and so cause that unending explosion that Wells envisioned. Not until after when it had become evident that that didn't happen and data from what *did* happen was collected to be processed was it possible to do the math that showed why it didn't. The principle behind Wells idea was sound and no one could know if it wouldn't go that way because there was simply no prior experience of this magnitude of force being unleashed. No grounds on which to do the math. It's kind of crazy they went ahead and did it anyway, when thinking about it; so much for principle of caution.
Iridescent ink
Iridescent ink Månad sedan
"no man" then a woman splits the atom in her Laboratory. Reminds me of Lord of the Rings "No man can defeat me", "I'm not a man".
Tuzz Nation
Tuzz Nation Månad sedan
It was actually her and pepin together. Yea, Hobit is technically not a "man" neither. Damn the book is great. And ofc the movies
colezax
colezax Månad sedan
dat grammar in the title tho
Matt Waters
Matt Waters Månad sedan
nukes are fake. the earth isnt a spinning ball. dinosaur fossils are all man made. and every major scientific institution is corrupted by international financial interests. If you really want to find truth, you have to question everything you learn no matter how much the scietyific community says something is fact.
Daniel Awesome
Daniel Awesome Månad sedan
This sounds like how a bunch of Minecrafters figured out how to break bedrock without creative mode.
Minky23
Minky23 Månad sedan
2:25
Bonau Filho
Bonau Filho Månad sedan
Chernobyl wasn't a bomb, believe me, I survived at the neighbourhood. And Wells rock. Actually we should pay attention to the futuristic writer of technology from now. Julio Vern and Wells where not so wrong, but miles ahead there time.
scorpius319
scorpius319 Månad sedan
You're a neutron.
Electron Resonator
Electron Resonator Månad sedan
wait till you know how insanely amount of people non stop vomiting the word "fake" and "impossible" when they meet something called free energy device, while they don't even have at least 1 percent of the brain cell of Einstein to make that judgement, which in this case they brutally defended that Einstein problem is just matter words selection, and not his too quick judgement that he thought he knew everything in the universe and also capability of future technology
InnateSnow
InnateSnow Månad sedan
The title makes no sense
Waikiki HoundDawg
Waikiki HoundDawg Månad sedan
Why Einstein thought nuclear weapons impossible.
manuel gomez
manuel gomez Månad sedan
Oppenheimer saw that and said hold my beer
maayhem
maayhem Månad sedan
Is anyone gonna point out that the title is wrong
Dr Vasantbhai Patel
Dr Vasantbhai Patel Månad sedan
Is Neutron made by nature for nuclear reaction to get energy from nucleus to serve mankind ? Like. Nature produced large size animals (dinosaur) to produce large amount of fossil fuel (petroleum ) to serve mankind ..
SavageMC
SavageMC Månad sedan
Plot twist they knew its possible they just said impossible so humans will not make bombs
Xerox Copy
Xerox Copy Månad sedan
tl;dr Einstein thought everyone was dumb that we couldnt create nuclear weapons sometime near in his era
Kephalo Pod
Kephalo Pod Månad sedan
Let's hope that matter-antimatter bombs will always be impossible...
Heroburns
Heroburns Månad sedan
Why?
Kephalo Pod
Kephalo Pod Månad sedan
Without the neutron (the dud particle), the nuclear bomb would be a dud.
Raziel Lentz
Raziel Lentz Månad sedan
Einstein didn't say "not gonna happen", he pointed out there was no indication
Blue Roots Denver TV
Blue Roots Denver TV Månad sedan
Good one
Hunter Williams
Hunter Williams Månad sedan
Idk why but I keep forgetting he wasn’t a 1700s scientist
ADITYA UPADHYAY
ADITYA UPADHYAY Månad sedan
you can also add the point when people were not sure if the required amount of U-235 can be collected, but the enrichment of uranium changed everything.
Shannon Slapp
Shannon Slapp Månad sedan
Oh, that Rutherford!
Muzol Byte
Muzol Byte Månad sedan
random genius: Nuclear weapons are impossible! Robert Oppenheimer: Nuclear weapons are what?
da fuq
da fuq Månad sedan
people back then: nuclear weapons is impossible. Nuclear weapons : *Existed* People now : Time travel is impossible Time travel in the future : *EXISTED*
Sixcns
Sixcns Månad sedan
There are actually theories that time travel is possible
smanzoli
smanzoli Månad sedan
No, if if exists in the future, then it would always have existed... today, and in the past as well... future travellers would be here since ever.
Darrell Turner
Darrell Turner Månad sedan
That Chernobyl comment. Chernobyl was never a bomb. The explosion was due to water being vaporized into steam that had no where else to go. Comments like this is why people don’t trust nuclear power plants. We could literally solve global warming with nuclear power plants but people keep touting out this ridiculous notion that nuclear power plants can blow up like a nuclear bomb. They cannot.
WoL
WoL Månad sedan
Why does Ernest Rutherford look like older Mr Beast?
Vedraj r.m
Vedraj r.m Månad sedan
The title doesn’t make sense
dsfgh zxc
dsfgh zxc Månad sedan
chernobyl wasn't a nuclear explosion. it was an explosion with nuclear materials. the explosion was probably caused by either a steam explosion or an alkali metal reaction (liquid uranium with cooling water)
William Hutton
William Hutton Månad sedan
Uranium is not an alkali metal.
Smiley P
Smiley P Månad sedan
Why do we keep talking about uranium? Am I wrong or something? Doesn't Thorium exist? Isn't it much more reliable and stable and abundant than uranium? Why is it so rarely talked about? Am I mistaken??
64PINK256
64PINK256 Månad sedan
@veritasium liar, Nuclear bombs are so easy to make, that is why the material is illegal
Vablo
Vablo Månad sedan
Well by that logic humans shouldnt be able to reach fusion right?
aimohsin
aimohsin Månad sedan
Just go to their grave and say O K B O O M E R
vynaslol
vynaslol Månad sedan
whoa those scientists sucked
Gergely Budai
Gergely Budai Månad sedan
Szilárd Leó! HAJRÁ MAGYAROK!
cherubin7th
cherubin7th Månad sedan
Leo Szilard reads book about giant bombs. I want this in real life...
Mike Shane
Mike Shane Månad sedan
Let this be true for fusion as well.
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein Månad sedan
Ye
Fishy
Fishy Månad sedan
“The longest supporter of this channel: Audible” his first patreon supporter:
HolyTaco
HolyTaco 29 dagar sedan
longest, not first. his first patreon probably stopped donating by now. but yeah
Lappen Warriors
Lappen Warriors Månad sedan
@[Px] Phoules madlad
[Px] Phoules
[Px] Phoules Månad sedan
@L no
L
L Månad sedan
try commenting on a more recent video next time
James Slick
James Slick Månad sedan
"Fluorescent Uranium Ore" is a good name for a band.
Kenneth Ferland
Kenneth Ferland Månad sedan
This is why the Japanese knew right away that the Hiroshima bomb was atomic in nature, and they correctly concluded that such bombs were not easily manufactured and the US would have only a handful of them at best. As the bombs destructive effects were only comparable to existing firebombing campaigns already being conducted the assessment that the weapon did not change the situation of the war in any significant way. Japans surrender was due to USSR's entry into the war in a dramatic attack in Manchuria with rapidly overwhelmed all Japanese defenses, that DID decidedly change the situation as they knew the Russians would be willing to make a land invasion of the home Islands, it also meant that their efforts to have the Soviets mediate a peace between them and the US was dead.
Dundoril
Dundoril Månad sedan
That's a lot of assumptions there.. None of them sourced of course. There was no way for Japan to know how many bombs the us had.. And there power was far superior to the firebombing campaign. It also attacked the mainland of Japan not some far always region in occupied territory
Rudez
Rudez Månad sedan
Mankind invented the atomic bomb, but no mouse would ever construct a mousetrap. - *Albert* *Einstein*
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