DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Sir George Paget Thomson




My Witness: Sir George Paget Thomson


My Name:  Nancy Pan.


Background:   I was born on 3 May 1892 in Cambridge, England. I am the only son of the great phycisist JJ Thomson, who was the recepient of a Nobel prize for identifying a fundamental particle of nature, the electron. I went to school in Cambridge and then up o the University. As an undergraduate at Trinity College i took mathematics followed by physics and had done a year's research under my father's supevision. In 1914 I was elected Fellow and Mathematical Lecturer at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge. When the 1914-1918 war broke out I joined the Queen's Regiment of infantry as a Sulbatern and served for a short time in France, but returned to work on the stability of aeroplanes and other aerodynamical problems at Farnborough. During the second world war, I was the chairman of the MAUD committee which reported the feasibility of an atomic weapon. I was knighted for my efforts in getting this project launched.


Connection to this Case: I was the chairman of the crucial MAUD Committee that investigated the possibility of creating an atomic weapon. The MAUD report in July 1941 helped the American bomb effort turn the corner.


Your Testimony:  I will try to prove that president Truman's actions were the right ones and that he did not have other choice.

1st argument: His aim was to end the war, which he achieved successfully. His aim was not to kill many people with the atomic bomb,but to end the war with the least casualties possible. If an invasion in Japan occurred, the casualties would have been much more and that is why President Truman made the right decision. Losses were indeed terrible, but not as terrible as the number of Japanese that would have died because of an invasion

2nd argument: The Nazi, Germans and the Japanese were in the progress of creating a similar powerful weapon. Presiden Truman had no choice than to choose this powerful aid that was given to him. It would have been immoral if he had the bomb and did not use it.



Source Evaluation:


Source #1- The MAUD Report


 "Report by MAUD Committee on the Use of Uranium for a Bomb." - Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.




Origin- The report was written by the scientists of the MAUD Committee.


Purpose- The report, prepared by a group codenamed the MAUD Committee and set up by the British in spring 1940 to study the possibility of developing a nuclear weapon, maintained that a sufficiently purified critical mass of uranium-235 could fission even with fast neutrons.  Building upon theoretical work on atomic bombs performed by refugee physicists Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch in 1940 and 1941, the MAUD report estimated that a critical mass of ten kilograms would be large enough to produce an enormous explosion.   A bomb this size could be loaded on existing aircraft and be ready in approximately two years.


Value of this source in preparation of my testimony-  This detailed report has all information concerning the discoveries of the MAUD Committee. All its members were great scientists and their discoveries concerning the possibility of creating an atomic weapon are displayed in this report. In the report are included specific plans for producing the bomb. The MAUD report dismissed plutonium production, thermal difussion, the electromagnetic method, and the centrifuge and called for uranium-235 on a massive scale. The British believed that uranium research could lead to the production of a bomb in time to effect the outcome of the war. While the MAUD report provided encouragement to Americans advocating a more extensive uranium research program, it also served as a sobering reminder that fission had been discovered in Nazi Germany almost three years earlier and that since spring 1940 a large part of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin had been set aside for uranium research.


Limitations of this source in preparation of my testimony- The MAUD Committee was British and the report was to help the Americans through their discoveries to end the war. It is not biased but is mostly in favor of the British and the Americans.



Source #2- Einstein's letter to FDR

 "Albert Einstein'sLetters to PresidentFranklin Delano Roosevelt." Einstein's Letters to Roosevelt. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.


Origin- It is a letter written by Albert Einstein and sent to president Roosevelt.


Purpose- The letter warned that Germany might develop atomic bombs and suggested that the United States should start its own nuclear program.


Value of this source in preparation of my testimony- It is a very valuable primary source since it states that Germany was actually in progress of creating a similar powerful weapon. This fact is very important in order to prove that president Truman had no other choice but to use this powerful aid that was offered to him, otherwise Germany would do it when ready.


Limitations of this source in preparation of my testimony- We do not know to what extent the construction of an atomic bomb in Germany was.



DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.