Some recent work by E. Fermi and L. Szilard, which has been communicated to me in manuscript, leads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the immediate future. Certain aspects of the situation seem to call for watchfulness and, if necessary, quick action on the part of the Administration. This new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of bombs, and it is conceivablethough much less certainthat extremely powerful bombs of a new type may thus be constructed. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat or exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory. However, such bombs might very well prove to be too heavy for transportation by air.
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Source Notes: Source: ALBERT EINSTEIN, letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, August 2, 1939, delivered October 11, 1939.Einstein on Peace, ed. Otto Nathan and Heinz Norden, pp. 29495 .
Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 - April 18, 1955) was a German-American theoretical physicist of Jewish descent, born in Ulm, Germany, who is widely regarded as the greatest scientist of the 20th century. He proposed the theory of relativity and also made major contributions to the development of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and cosmology. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect in 1905 (his "miracle year") and "for his services to Theoretical Physics."