The Day the Sun Rose Twice: The Story of the Trinity Site Nuclear Explosion, July 16, 1945

By Ferenc Morton Szasz | Go to book overview

Preface

Herman Melville once wrote, "To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme." The judgments on the book will be left to the reader, but I have no doubts about the power of the theme. This is the story of the world's first nuclear explosion. It occurred at 5:30 A.M. on July 16, 1945, about 120 miles from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Its legacy is much in evidence today.

As usual, I am indebted to a great number of people for their aid in the preparation of this study. To begin with, I would like to give special thanks to the archivists and librarians who so patiently replied to my endless stream of requests: Walter Bramlett, Tony Rivera, Bill Jack Rodgers, Elaine Ruhe, Dan Baca, and Alison Kerr of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico; Hedy Dunn of the Los Alamos Historical Society; Stanley Hordes and his staff at the New Mexico State Archives and Records Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Edward J. Reese of the Modern Military Headquarters Branch of the National Archives, Washington, D.C.; David Warringer and Richard V. Nutley of the Department of Energy, Coordination and Information Center, Las Vegas, Nevada; Mitch Tuchman and Bernard Galm of the UCLA Oral History Program and Anne Caiger of the UCLA University Library, University of California at Los Angeles; Elizabeth B. Mason of the Columbia Oral History Program, Columbia University, New York City; Frances M. Seeber of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York; Benedict K.

-ix-

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The Day the Sun Rose Twice: The Story of the Trinity Site Nuclear Explosion, July 16, 1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 3
  • Chapter One - The Origins of Los Alamos 7
  • Chapter Two - The Construction and Naming of Trinity 27
  • Chapter Three - Theoretical Considerations 55
  • Chapter Four - The Question of Weather 67
  • Chapter Five - The Blast 79
  • Chapter Six - The Aftermath I: Fallout 115
  • Chapter Seven - The Aftermath II: Cattle, Film, and People 131
  • Chapter Eight - The International Legacy 145
  • Chapter Nine - The Local Legacy 159
  • Epilogue 173
  • Abbreviations 179
  • Notes 181
  • Bibliography 213
  • Index 225
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