Trinity’s Atomic Blast Changed the World

As the first atomic blast lit up the morning sky and scorched a vast desert landscape in south-central New Mexico, the scientists and engineers who had worked on this top-secret weapon felt a mixture of relief, awe and trepidation.


No one knew exactly what to expect July 16, 1945 — not even renowned physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was put in charge of designing the nuclear device for the Manhattan Project with the aim of ending World War II. Some researchers feared it might wreak widespread, fiery destruction. More than a few scientists worried it might be a total failure.


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