During the 1930's, scientists confirmed Einstein's theory that E = mc^2 using large machines that could break apart the nuclear cores of atoms. The amount of energy was so great during the nuclear transformation that it caused a detectable change in the mass of the nucleus. The years to follow showed a great increase in the amount of research done in the field of nuclear physics. Large government-funded groups of physicists were formed and performed many experimental tests. Einstein was not familiar with the work of experimental or applied physics; rather, he was accustomed to the area of abstract thought usually done by himself or with the help of a mathematical assistant. The experimentalists in the 1930's had no use for his abstract ideas. His help was needed in the political aspect.|
Einstein had become world famous due to his theory of E = mc^2. The physicists had discovered fission of the uranium atom and worried that it could be used for destructive bombs. The Second World War was beginning and scientist worried that Nazi Germany would construct such weapons of mass destruction. The strategy adopted was to either try to beat the Germans quickly in the war, or to build the bomb before they could. The Americans needed a man that could present such an idea to the president. The call was to Albert Einstein, who was a pacifist and normally would not take part in such an idea. However, he saw Hitler's extreme aggression and decided that something had to be done to stop it. Einstein signed a letter which warned President Roosevelt to take action for the project. Contrary to popular belief, Einstein played no other role in the development of the nuclear bomb. He was simply used as a consultant because of his popularity.
Einstein and society