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

Logo Cheshire East Council
Tue 20 Aug 6:09am  |  hits: 1,017

Cheshire East invites public comment on the next phase of the Local PlanThe draft site allocations and development policies document (SADPD), which forms the second part of the council's Local Plan, once finalised, will complete the approved framework for housing, employment and other key infrastructure up to 2030.The document sets out detailed planning policies to guide decisions on...

cows, cow, farms, farming, rural, dairy
Sun 18 Aug 6:07am  |  hits: 983

Pete originally submitted this article to a national newspaper, but realising that he will reach a more appreciative, intelligent and responsible readership through AudlemOnline, he has allowed us to publish it here.Professor Frances Corner OBE, head of London college of Fashion and reputedly a vegan, has, upon taking up her new post at Goldsmiths, taken the decision to ban the consumption of...

canal swans
Sat 17 Aug 6:08am  |  hits: 811

AudlemOnline received this rather sad message form Sarah Johansen earlier this week.I live by the canal in Nantwich. Residents have been finding multiple dead swans around the canal this week, it's very sad to see.Please can residents and boaters keep a look out for the swans in the Audlem area and let the Canal and River Trust know if anything seems to be up with them. Also please...