On this Day - July 16th

Home » Latest News » On this Day - July 16th
trinity test

The Trinity test

Trinity was the code name of the first detonation of a nuclear weapon. It was conducted by the United States Army at 5:29 a.m. on July 16, 1945, as part of the Manhattan Project. The test was conducted in the Jornada del Muerto desert about 35 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico, on what was then the USAAF Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range, now part of White Sands Missile Range. The only structures originally in the vicinity were the McDonald Ranch House and its ancillary buildings, which scientists used as a laboratory for testing bomb components. A base camp was constructed, and there were 425 people present on the weekend of the test.

The code name "Trinity" was assigned by Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, inspired by the poetry of John Donne. The test was of an implosion-design plutonium device, informally nicknamed "The Gadget", of the same design as the Fat Man bomb later detonated over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945. The complexity of the design required a major effort from the Los Alamos Laboratory, and concerns about whether it would work led to a decision to conduct the first nuclear test. The test was planned and directed by Kenneth Bainbridge.

Fears of a fizzle led to the construction of a steel containment vessel called Jumbo that could contain the plutonium, allowing it to be recovered, but Jumbo was not used. A rehearsal was held on May 7, 1945, in which 108 short tons of high explosive spiked with radioactive isotopes were detonated. The Gadget's detonation released the explosive energy of about 22 kilotons of TNT.

The test site was declared a National Historic Landmark district in 1965, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places the following year.

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

Village centre
Fri 10 Jan 6:09am  |  hits: 1,172

This morning, I was waiting to pull out onto the Woore Road from Mount Pleasant. My wife was also pulling put but in front of me. This is in the 30 mph limited area.My wife pulled out heading for the village and a silver Mercedes 4WD with a private plate came hurtling along at well over the speed limit for sure and then tailgated my wife all the way to the village.Behind this mindless idiot...

joey
Wed 15 Jan 6:08am  |  hits: 924

While we watch, helplessly, at the devastation that the Australian fires are causing to the wildlife — some of us are picking up knitting needles, crochet hooks and sewing kits to craft emergency care items for the orphaned animals.I'm knitting a range of joey pouches, one of my pals has started knitting koala mittens, while another is sewing liners to go into the joey pouches. And who...

A529 closure
Fri 10 Jan 6:08am  |  hits: 868

Monday January 13thCheshire East have warned that the A529 will be completely closed along the stretch into Nantwich past Stapeley Broad Lane School and Brine Leas School.The closure is from January 13th to January 28th (although the timing of the end of the works will depend to some extent on the weather).The daily closure will be from 9.30am to 2.30pm to allow access at school...