Saturday, July 16, 2005

"I am become death the destroyer of worlds."

60 years ago today J. Robert Oppenheimer recalled a passage from the Bhagavad-Gita: "I am become death the destroyer of worlds".

July 16, 1945 at 5:29:45 am local time saw the first test detonation of an Atom Bomb.

First Atomic Test (Source: DOE)

Today there stands a marker at ground zero of the Trinity Test site.

Trinity Site Marker (Source: White Sands Missile Range- US Army)

If your interested in the history behind the Trinity Site the White Sands Missile Range has an extensive website on the site's past and present history. Here's an excerpt about the current radiation levels at ground zero:

Radiation levels in the fenced, ground zero area are low. On an average the levels are only 10 times greater than the region's natural background radiation. A one-hour visit to the inner fenced area will result in a whole body exposure of one-half to one millirem.

In addition to over 80 photos and eye witness accounts the website provides information on the White Sands Missile Range open house at the Trinity Site. The open house started today on the 60th anniversary.

If your also interested in the history on the Manhattan Project the DOE has an interactive website as well.

The first Soviet atomic bomb test took place in August, 1949 four years after the Trinity Test. The Cold War and Nuclear Arms race had begun and didn't end until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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