Friday, July 16, 2010

"Begun the Atomic Age has..."

“I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” -J. Robert Oppenheimer: "Father of the Atomic Bomb"

Sixty five years ago, on today's date, the first nuclear weapons test of an atomic bomb was conducted by the United States Army at a location about thirty five miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico, at the White Sands Proving Ground. (Today known as the White Sands Missile Range.)

This operation was given the code name of Trinity being that it was a series of tests for an implosion design plutonium device. The informal nickname for the weapon itself was "The Gadget."

The Trinity detonation produced an explosive power equivalent to the explosion of about twenty kilotons of TNT.

Because of this, July 16, 1945 is considered by many to be the beginning of the Atomic Age.

Today, the Trinity Site is a National Historic Landmark District and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Residual radiation at the site still measures about ten times higher than normal. The amount of radioactive exposure received during a one hour visit to the site is about half of what an adult receives on an average day from natural and medical sources.

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