Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Albert Einstein (18791955)
Some recent work by E. Fermi and L. Szilard, which has been communicated to me in manuscript, leads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the immediate future. Certain aspects of the situation seem to call for watchfulness and, if necessary, quick action on the part of the Administration .
This new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of bombs, and it is conceivablethough much less certainthat extremely powerful bombs of a new type may thus be constructed. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat or exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory. However, such bombs might very well prove to be too heavy for transportation by air.
ALBERT EINSTEIN, letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, August 2, 1939, delivered October 11, 1939.Einstein on Peace, ed. Otto Nathan and Heinz Norden, pp. 29495 (1960, reprinted 1981).