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April 02, 1954 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1954-04-02

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_ __

Films Tell of H- Strength

blast Results
Startle City's
TV Viewers
Fitzgerald, Pidd
Discuss Effects
Seeing an entire island wiped
off the face of the earth by the
power of a single Hydrogen bomb
was described as a startlingly hor-
rible experience by students view-
ing films of the Ngvember 1952
last on television yesterday.
"Watching the films left me
with a sick feeling in the pit of
my stomach," one student report-
ed, while another said "it was as
though the sun were colliding
with the earth."
Washtenaw County Civil De-
fense Director Thomas A. Fitz-
gerald said yesterday that so far
no changes have been authorized
in civil defense planning for the
Detroit area of which Ann Arbor
is part.
HE INDICATED, however, that
some revision of thought in Wash-
ington and Lansing on defense
planning for the area will prob-
ably be forth coming.
One suggestion has been made
that plans be laid for a mass
evacuation of Detroit in the
event of possible attack on
the city. Fitzgerald said that
changes in defense planning
might be along these lines.
Under present civil defense
plans for southeastern Michigan
Ann Arbor is thought of as a sup-
port area for the evacuation of in-
ured and others from Detroit.
According to Fitzgerald a sur-
vey of housing for possible evac-
uees has been made and is avail-
able at present, ,
PROF. ROBERT W. Pidd of the
physics department said that the
danger of the new weapon lies in
Its tremendously increased size
over the A-bomb.
Commenting on the so-called
runaway bombs exploded March
1 and last Friday the physicist
referred to a statement by
Atomic Energy Commissioner
Lewis Strauss who reported that
the difference in these reactions
and the 1952 explosion was a
factor of two.
Prof. Pidd explained that since
only one H-Bomb had been ex-
ploded previous to the experiments
last month-no definite pattern had
been set for the size of the blasts,
with the possibility that the first
bomb may have been weak or de-
fective in some way.
The radio-active snow reported
in Montana Wednesday is noth-
ing so unusual the physics pro-
fessor said as Ann Arbor exper-
ienced a similar phenomenon last
Winds bearing moisture from
the area of the bomb tests are re-
sponsible for the radioactive per-
cipitation, Prof. Pidd said. Should
the air currents continue across
the country and the city receive
rain or snow in the next few days,
chances are radioactive partices
will be present, he said.
Prof. Pidd pointed out that1
danger from this radioactivity ist
well within the safety limits be-
cause of the amount of energy

released over an enormous area.

By The Associated Press
What's the difference be-
tween a hydrogen bomb and
the "old-fashioned" atomic
It's easier to understand if
you remember that actually
they're both A-bombs. The
basic difference is that the
"old" type, first exploded in
1945, makes use of splitting
atoms, while the newer one
fuses or puts atoms together in
new combinations.
Either way there's a tre-
mendous release of energy-but
much more so with the hydro-
gen bomb.
It's more accurate to call the
older weapon a fission bomb,
rather than just an "atomic"
bomb, and the new type a fu-
sion bomb instead of a "hydro-
gen" bomb.
What the fission bomb does,
essentially, is split atoms of
uranium, a very heavy mater-
ial. The fusion bomb, on the
other hand, gets its deadly ef-
fect by converting atoms of hy-
drogen, which is extremely
light, into atoms of helium.
One more thing: It takes a
fission bomb to set off a fu-
sion bomb. It became known as
early as last September that
American scientists were work-
ing on a relatively easy and in-
expensive way of making fu-
sion bombs out of the many fis-
sion bombs already in exist-
The recent tests in the Pa-
cific, together with official in-
terpretations of them, indicate
the scientists have had a large
measure of success.

Churchill, Nehru Lead Opposite Schools

The big question mark shrouding
the hydrogen bomb in secrecy for
overda year burst out upon the
world during the week climaxed
yesterday with the first official
release of the bomb's destructive
And speculating on continued
H-Bomb tests the world appeared
sharply divided into two camps
each debating the advisability of
continuing thermonuclear experi-
* ,* *
PRIME Ministers Churchill of
England and Nehru of India came
forth as the leading spokesmen.
fOr opposing groups during the
In a strongly worded state-
ment issued Monday the Indian
Prime Minister called for a
quick end to all hydrogen bomb
Nehru's plea apparently result-
ed from reports that the H-bomb
blast detonated March 1 in the
Pacific had been more powerful
than scientists anticipated.
* * *
BUT TWO DAYS later the Bri-.
tish Prime Minister in an ans-
wer to the Labor Party's demands
that he, Churchill, use his influ-
ence to call H-bomb experiments
off, flatly asserted such tests were
necessary for the defense of the
free world.
In his retort to the Labor Par-
ty, Churchill said, the hydrogen
bomb is "the greatest possible
deterrent against the outbreak
of World War III."
At the same time, the aging
Churchill, use his influence to call
H-bomb experiments off, flatly
asserted such tests were necessary+
for the dehnse of the free world.

.. . tests needed

Reactions to the March, 1953
blast also came from Secretary of
DefensetCharles E. Wilson as he
termed the effects of the so-called
"run-away" explosion "unbeliev-
able." But he added, "I don't think
you should scare everybody so
they can't sleep nights."
of the Atomic Energy Commission
returning from the Pacific H-
zone early in the week tried to
allay growing fears over the na-
ture of the bomb's power by say-
ing there was no reason for con-
cern over the unexpected fury of
the March 1 test.
Preceding this statement
Strauss revealed a second de-
tonation had been carried out
March 26 in the Pacific proving
He declined coiment on the ex-
tent of the test but maintained
that the current series of explo-
sions are prod,}cing "information
highly important to national de-
Commenting further on the
March 26 thermonuclear experi-
ments two members of the Joint
Congressional Atomic Committee
said they understood "it was not
as big" as the one of March 1.
One of these members, Rep.
Carl Hinshaw (R-Calif.) com-
mented the free world "should
thank god" that the United States
was still able to test such weapons.
Throughout the week national
leaders stressed the fact that the
hydrogen bomb can destroy civil-
ization and possibly the world as
well. Such was the essence of a
statement by Dr. Charles Mayo, a
United States delegate to the Uni-
ted Nations.

--Courtesy of Ann Arbor News
Atoic, rogen Bomb
History Traced from '45

In his retort to the Labor Par-
ty, Churchill said, the hydrogen
bomb is "the greatest possible
determent against the outbreak
of World War III."
At the same time, the aging
Churchill told the British parlia-
ment that he would seek out a
Big Three conference in the near
future but did not say whether
he would ask inclusion of discus-
sions of atomic and hydrogen
bomb controls.
But yesterday's publication of
the first official pictures of H-
bomb tests conducted in the Paci-
fic in 1952 failed to reveal the ex-
tent of the newest bombs' powers
and the debate on the advisability
of conducting more such experi-
ments continued unabated.

Atomic Bomb



August 6, 1945 was fired "the
blast heard 'round the world."
On this day, with the dropping
on Hiroshima of the world's first
Atomic Bomb the world was swung
from the Iron Age into what has
since been termed the Atomic age.
THE BOMB that cast "an im-
penetrable - cloud of dust and
smoke" over the target, masking
it from observation for miles
around was announced to the
world on.thenmorning of the 6th
by ex-President Harry S. Truman
and War Secretary Henry L. Stim-
son. It was reported to have more
power than 20,000 tons of TNT.
The president said that even
more powerful forms were in
On August 9 a second bomb was
dropped on the Japanese base of
Nagasaki. On the next day war-
time use of the instrument was
declared legal. Shortly thereaftgr
moves to ban use of the bomb be-
* * *
INFORMATION on the power of
the weapon began to trickle out
from official sources. The Japa-
nese bombs killed a reported 70,-
000, wounding 120,000 more. Ques-
tion was raised concerning the ul-
timate dangers faced from radio-
action and radioactive waves re-
sulting from the bomb.
In September and October
controversy began concerning
the United States monopoly of
the A-bomb. Experts, led by
Atomic scientist,Urey urged ei-
ther banning of it or else the
use of world control of all atom-
'ic information. This was refused
by President Truman.
In 1946 the United States and
the United Nations both set up
Atomic Energy Commissions to be
used to develope the bomb and
control its use. Concerning the re-
lease of the secret of atomic en-;
ergy, the United States maintain-
ed that this information was un-
der national control and could not

ELUGELAB DESTROYED-Within a matter of moments fol-
lowing the detonation of the first hydrogen bomb in 1952 the is-
land (in black) was totally annihilated. The only evidence that
the island ever existed is a crater filled with water with a dia-
meter of about a mile. The maximum depth of the crater is 175
feet. The island of Sanil was also effected by the blast-part
of it being destroyed.

be released without consent of the
United States government.
* * *
IN JULY of that year the first
atomic tests were initiated in the
Bikini Islands.
Plans, fights, threats and
counter-threats highlight the
activity of the UN Atomic En-
ergy Commission in 1947. Rus-
sia demanded world control of
the bomb. The U.S. refused.
While no apparant progress was
being made in international con-
trol the Soviet Union in 1949 un-
successfully demanded to know the
existing stockpile of the U.S. Use
of the A-bomb in Korea was urged
late in 1949.
* * *
first time became concerned with
atomic defense and made weak ef-
forts to police the skies. Eastern
and Western coastal cities began
planning civil defense programs.
On August 16, 1951 it became
known that the Soviet Union
had a large stockpile of A-bombs.
* * * -
Hydrogen Bomb
The first mention of the hydro-
gen bomb was made Jan. 2, 1950 in
a syndicated column by Joseph
and Stewart Alsop.
Twenty-nine days later former
President Harry S. Truman or-
dered the construction of the first
American Hydrogen bomb. During
this period Russian spokesman
had continuously maintained such
a bomb would be impossible to
TWO YEARS later, November,
1952, a Hydrogen bomb experiment
took place at Eniwetok atoll, the
pictures of which were released
yesterday. Another followed March
1, 1953.
Truman after having an-

nounced the possibilities of con-
structing an Hydrogen bomb and
ordering that the United States'
bulid such a weapon warned the
Soviet Union Jan. 7, 1953 on
the power of American atomic
The ex-President told Premier
Joseph Stalin that Communist ag-
gression would lead to an era of
atomic warefare. He said this
would entail the use of U.S. atomic
weapons "perhaps even dwarfing
the hydrogen bomb."
But since that time no mention
of such weapons has been made.
A PUBLIC demonstration of the
effects of the atomic bomb on
troops was held at Atomic Bomb
Site, Nevada March 17, 1953.
However, since that time it
has been reported that the pow-
er of ,the A-Bomb has been in-
creased along with its more pow-
erful counterpart in the Hydro-
gen bomb.
In view of the rapidly increasing
potentials of destruction contain-
ed in nuclear explosions President
Dwight D. Eisenhower enunciated
a plan for the control of atomic
energy on a world-wide scale.
Following the close of the Ber-
muda Conference in 1953 the Pres-
ident addressed a meeting of the
United Nations December 8 and
brought forth his new policy.
THE PRESIDENT'S plan called
for the pooling of atomic resources
by all countries of the world and
the using of such a pool for peace-
ful purposes.
At the same time he suggested
that the atomic powers begin
talks immediately on such a
project without waiting for a
system of inspection which had
proved to be one of the major
stumbling blocks in previous
atomic discussions.
The unique aspect of the speech
was the fact that President Eisen-
hower called for "private" talks
among these powers. His address
Western observers thought was
aimed primarily at bringing Rus-
sia into discussion to erase the
tension created by atomic might on
both sides of the Iron Curtain.
Following this pronouncement
secret discussions got underway
in Washington between the Rus-
sian ambassador to the United
States and American officials.
However, no word has been pub-
lished to date of the context of
these meetings or the decisions,

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