Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ground Zero


Good Thursday Morning to you all. Today's picture shows Robert Oppenheimer and Leslie Groves. Oppenheimer was one of the main physicists on the Manhattan Project, and Leslie Groves was the military man in charge. In the picture above, they have returned to ground zero after the successful test of the gadget. 

The location of the test was the Trinity Sight in southern New Mexico. After the blast, the sand in the area was turned to glass. The glass ground had a greenish hue, and the little pieces of green glass were given a new name . . . Trinitite. The glass is still slightly radioactive to this day. While the material can no longer be picked up at the Trinity sight, it is collected and traded by rock hounds and mineral collectors.

11 comments:

  1. Yesterday I made a remark questioning the fact that Japan should have surrendering right after the first bomb and then they still took 6 days after the second bomb.
    Then Al said Germany didn't surrender even after 4.3 million tons of bomb were dropped on them over a period of 5 plus years. You have to remember that Hitler was a stark raving lunatic and didn't care what happen to Germany. He still had dreams of somehow winning the war. His Generals knew the war was lost a long, time before. That is why they tried to assassinate him at least 10 times that history knows about during his reign, starting in 1939.
    I realize that there had to be mad men in Japan also to think they could beat the Allied Forces. There were Japanese generals that knew the war was lost the day after Pearl Harbor, but kept on fighting because their Emperor told them to.

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  2. Now about this photo.
    I guess they didn't realize the dangers of radioactivity back at that time. You would think they would have suffered burns from standing at ground Zero.

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  3. The Japanese Naval Marshal General that planned the Pearl Harbor raid actually considered the war over and lost BEFORE the attack on Pearl.

    Isoroku Yamamoto said, "Should hostilities once break out between Japan and the United States, it would not be enough that we take Guam and the Philippines, nor even Hawaii and San Francisco. To make victory certain, we would have to march into Washington and dictate the terms of peace in the White House. I wonder if our politicians (who speak so lightly of a Japanese-American war) have confidence as to the final outcome and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices."

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  4. My first thought as RTD pointed out was, what about the radiation? If you look close Mr. Groves is wearing some sort of booties over his shoes. Not much protection there. My guess is he is just wearing them to keep the dust off his shoes.

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  5. The Atomic Test Site was north of Las Vegas. In the 1950's they built several houses with furniture and mannequins in them, and they parked cars there. They had cameras set up at various distances from the explosion to record what happened.

    Afterward, they had exhibits of furniture and mannequins on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, right in front of J.C.Penney's, I think.

    As a child, I walked right up to them and touched them. No, they did NOT understand about lingering radiation then.

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  6. I had a friend in high school in the late 60s who sadly died of leukemia. Her father worked on this project. I often wondered if there was some latent relationship.

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  7. It's been theorized that a number of people(90?) that worked on the film set for The Conqueror (including John Wayne) died as a result of radiation exposure. The filming took place near a atomic weapons test site. A large percentage (~50%) of inhabitants of a town local to the site got cancer as well.

    I remember my grade school teacher handing out little blobs of mercury. Nobody thought anything of it.

    John

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  8. Adding to Roger's reply to Al,
    There's a big difference between dealing with years of conventional bombing raids (as Germany and Great Britain) and having a few years worth dropped on you all at once (the A-bombs on Japan). Similarly, it would be easier survive getting shot a number of times over the course of a few years with a .22 bullet than just once by a 20mm cannon.

    John

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  9. Are people allowed to visit the sight? Or is it all off limits?

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  10. Amelia,
    There is one day a year they have an "Open House" and the general public is allowed in.
    PJM

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  11. It is possible to visit Trinity Site twice a year. The site is open to the public the first Saturday in April and the first Saturday in October. It is more of an open house event rather than a guided tour.

    http://www.white-sands-new-mexico.com/military.htm

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