On this Day 66 Years Ago.

July 16th 1945.

At 5:29:45 am at a place in Central New Mexico already known as “Jornado de Muerto” (Journey of Death) Richard Feynman, barely 27 years old, removed his protective glasses because he doubted anything would happen, he saw nothing of the event but a purple blotch on the floor of the armored vehicle he was in.

I. I. Rabi said later “It blasted, it pounced it bored its way into you”

There was a crack like a rifle shot which startled a New York Times reporter, “What was that!” he shouted. “That’s THE THING!” replied Feynman.

Nearby, Enrico Fermi tore pages from his notebook into quarters and dropped them slowly from his hand, mentally calculating the strength of the pressure wave from the fluttering leaves.

Feynman at last could see, and what he saw were clouds “What have we done to make clouds in the desert?” was his first thought.

Robert Oppenheimer quoted the Bhagavid- Gita
“Now I am become death, the destroyer of Worlds”
He was closest to the truth.

The experiment was code named TRINITY and was the defining event of the 20th Century.

Within three weeks the two other bombs then in existence were exploded and the childhood of mankind was over.

Author: Low Wattage

Expat Welshman, educated (somewhat) in UK, left before it became fashionable to do so. Now a U.S. Citizen, and recent widower, playing with retirement and house remodeling, living in Delaware and rural Maryland (weekends).

6 thoughts on “On this Day 66 Years Ago.”

  1. My father was serving with the RAF in the Pacific when they went off, no regrets!

  2. An ex colleague of mine died of cancer a couple of years ago. Not necessarily connected with his activity as a young scientist when he was in the Nevada desert for the H-Bomb tests. On seeing the results of the tests, he quit that branch of science.

  3. There is a good chance I would never have met my father, without the A-bombs being dropped on Japan. He was on course to being part of the invasion forces, many of whom would have died at the hands of the fanatical Japanese. As well as ensuring this did not happen, they also had a very salutary effect on the Japanese themselves. They are now one of the more polite and civilised countries of the world.

    If the Yanks and Brits had not developed the system, there is a more than good chance that someone else less responsible would have done. You cannot un-invent the past, and anyone who thinks you can is naive in the extreme

  4. CO: Oppenheimer, Rabi and Feynman were all from Jewish families. Not much evidence that they continued in the faith. Amazing that they prevailed given that a strong prejudice against Jews was practiced by all major US universities during the twenties and thirties. Either a lot of good brains went to waste or these were recognized as invaluable (or both).

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