Este es un memorandum que envió Bohr a Roosevelt vital para el nacimiento del proyecto Manhattan, esta es una importantísima pieza histórica digna de ser recordada:
It certainly surpasses the imagination of anyone to survey the consequences of the project inyears to come, where, in the long run, the enormous energy sources which will be available maybe expected to revolutionize industry and transport. The fact of immediate preponderance is,however, that a weapon of an unparalleled power is being created which will completely changeall future conditions of warfare.
Quite apart from the question of how soon the weapon will be ready for use and what role itmay play in the present war, this situation raises a number of problems which call for most urgentattention. Unless, indeed, some agreement about the control of the use of the new active materialscan be obtained in due time, any temporary advantage, however great, may be outweighed by aperpetual menace to human security.
Ever since the possibilities of releasing atomic energy on a vast scale came in sight, muchthought has naturally been given to the question of control, but the further the exploration ofthe scientific problems concerned is proceeding, the clearer it becomes that no kind of customarymeasures will suffice for this purpose, and that the terrifying prospect of a future competitionbetween nations about a weapon of such formidable character can only be avoided through auniversal agreement in true confidence.
In this connection it is particularly significant that the enterprise, immense as it is, has stillproved far smaller than might have been anticipated, and that the progress of the work hascontinually revealed new possibilities for facilitating the production of the active materials and ofintensifying their efforts.
The prevention of a competition prepared in secrecy will therefore demand such concessions regardingexchange of information and openness about industrial efforts, including military preparations,as would hardly be conceivable unless all partners were assured of a compensating guaranteeof common security against dangers of unprecedented acuteness.
The establishment of effective control measures will of course involve intricate technical andadministrative problems, but the main point of the argument is that the accomplishment of theproject would not only seem to necessitate but should also, due to the urgency of mutual confidence,facilitate a new approach to the problems of international relationship.
The present moment where almost all nations are entangled in a deadly struggle for freedom andhumanity might, at first sight, seem most unsuited for any committing arrangement concerning theproject. Not only have the aggressive powers still great military strength, although their originalplans of world domination have been frustrated and it seems certain that they must ultimatelysurrender, but even when this happens, the nations united against aggression may face gravecauses of disagreement due to conflicting attitudes toward social and economic problems.
A closer consideration, however, would indicate that the potentialities of the project as a meansof inspiring confidence under these very circumstances acquire real importance. Moreover, thepresent situation affords unique possibilities which might be forfeited by a postponement awaitingthe further development of the war situation and the final completion of the new weapon. . . .In view of these eventualities the present situation appears to offer a most favorable opportunityfor an early initiative from the side which by good fortune has achieved a lead in the efforts ofmastering mighty forces of nature hitherto beyond human reach.
Without impeding the immediate military objectives, an initiative, aiming at forestalling afateful competition, should serve to uproot any cause of distrust between the powers on whoseharmonious collaboration the fate of coming generations will depend.
Indeed, it would appear that only when the question is raised among the united nations as towhat concessions the various powers are prepared to make as their contribution to an adequatecontrol arrangement, will it be possible for any one of the partners to assure himself of the sincerityof the intentions of the others.
Of course, the responsible statesmen alone can have insight as to the actual political possibilities.It would, however, seem most fortunate that the expectations for a future harmoniousinternational co-operation, which have found unanimous expressions from all sides within theunited nations, so remarkably correspond to the unique opportunities which, unknown to thepublic, have been created by the advancement of science.
Many reasons, indeed, would seem to justify the conviction that an approach with the objectof establishing common security from ominous menaces, without excluding any nation fromparticipating in the promising industrial development which the accomplishment of the projectentails, will be welcomed, and be met with loyal co-operation in the enforcement of the necessaryfar-reaching control measures.
It is in such respects that helpful support may perhaps be afforded by the world-wide scientificcollaboration which for years has embodied such bright promises for common human striving.Personal connections between scientists of different nations might even offer means of establishingpreliminary and unofficial contact.
It need hardly be added that any such remark or suggestion implies no underrating of thedifficulty and delicacy of the steps to be taken by the statesmen in order to obtain an arrangementsatisfactory to all concerned, but aims only at pointing to some aspects of the situation whichmight facilitate endeavours to turn the project to the lasting benefit of the common cause.
- Memorandum de Niels Bohr
- Memorandum de Niels Bohr al presidente Roosevelt en Julio de 1914