Zohar wrote:Second, we certainly won't hold Darwin responsible for it, just as we don't hold the Einstein for the deaths of thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Fuck Einstein. Sorry, but people need to stop with this nonsense that anything "atomic" is inherently the direct result of his unbelievable genious. Atomic bombs at their fundamental level are brought through by three very basic piece of science:
1) unstable atoms, like uranium, emit neutrons and break appart into smaller atoms (this is 1890s research well predating einstein. The specifics of uranium's behaviors were documented in the 1920s and 30s by other scientists)
2) neutrons colliding with other atoms become unstable. Thus a cascade is possible since unstable atoms emit neutrons. This doesn't happen naturally because U235 is rare and impure (this is turn of the century work not done by einstein at all).
3) if you compress and lock in neutrons of U235, you can cause a cascade. (einstein helped slightly, as did hundreds of other scientists in the mahattan project).
Einstein's major role in "the bomb" was writing a letter to the president urging the acceleration of research because of the inevitability of the science and the progress of Germany. He was the spokesman, a peer reviewer at best. His technical contributions were minor.
Title: It was given by the XKCD moderators to me because they didn't care what I thought (I made some rantings, etc). I care what YOU think, the joke is forums.xkcd doesn't care what I think.