July 16, 1945 – The experimental Atomic bomb “Fat Boy” was set off at 5:30 a.m. in the desert of New Mexico desert, creating a mushroom cloud rising 41,000 ft. The bomb emitted heat three times the temperature of the interior of the sun and wiped out all plant and animal life within a mile.
The end product was two bombs, both very different. Little boy triggered a nuclear explosion by firing one piece of uranium 235 into another. When enough U235 is brought together, the resulting fission chain reaction can produce a nuclear explosion. Fat Man however, was made out of plutonium. Fat Man was the more complex of the two, with a 10-ft sphere of the metal plutonium 239, it was designed to produce a highly accurate and symmetrical implosion. This would compress the plutonium sphere to a critical density and set off a nuclear chain-reaction.
The Trinity Test
At 5:29:45 a.m., July 16, 1945, a blinding flash and unbelievable heat seared the New Mexico desert. It was the first nuclear explosion that the world had ever seen. The explosion was a test, code-named Trinity, the Manhattan Project’s test was of the plutonium implosion bomb. It was a stunning success. The explosion almost equaled 20,000 tons of TNT, many times what some had expected. For some, the explosion was a wake up call. Robert Oppenheimer later said he thought of the lines from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, “I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds.”
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