the development of atomic warfare

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fh3579

Senior Member
Chinese
The following sentence is cited from a series of Powerpoint displayed in a TOEFL reading class.
Reports about the production of atomic fission from uranium written by famed mathematician Albert Einstein--- who regarded the development of atomic warfare as a perversion of his life’s efforts--- alerted the U.S. government to potential military uses.
My question is, what does development mean in the context?
 
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The following sentence is cited from a series of Powerpoint displayed in a TOEFL reading class.
    Reports about the production of atomic fission from uranium written by famed mathematician Albert Einstein--- who regarded the development of atomic warfare as a perversion of his life’s efforts--- alerted the U.S. government to potential military uses.
    My question is, what does development mean in the context?
    The sentence is not well expressed. The two phrases 'production of atomic fission from uranium' and 'development of atomic warfare' are not precise.
    They would have been better written as: 'generation (or 'possibility') of atomic fission using uranium' and 'development of atomic weapons'.
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    The phrase atomic warfare sounds odd to me in this context. There hasn't been any atomic warfare apart from the American attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (unless you count things like depleted uranium shells, but I'm not an expert). I'd prefer atomic weapons. I suppose development could mean:
    1) the invention and introduction of atomic weapons, or
    2) that atomic weapons became less crude and more sophisticated (if you think that killing millions of people is a sophisticated thing to do).

    The context suggests that there were no atomic weapons at the time Einstein raised his concerns, so I'd go for (1).
     
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