Commemorating 60 years of the bomb
Jul 19, 2005
A group of artists, engineers and pyrotechnicians who want to raise awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons have simulated the detonation of a nuclear device in the Nevada desert. Using an environmentally friendly bio-diesel fuel, they generated a flame effect that rose over 120 metres into the dawn sky. The flame was created at 5.29.45 a.m. on Saurday 16 July -- exactly 60 years since members of the Manhattan Project detonated the first nuclear weapon in the "Trinity" test.
The simulation, which mimicked the look and feel of the Trinity explosion, was watched by over 100 spectators. It was organized by the San Francisco-based Simnuke Project as part of a memorial to the atomic age. Other events include a nuclear-related art show that runs at the Rx gallery in the city until 10 August. Members of the project also plan to plant 60 trees -- one for every year since 1945 -- near the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico, where the first atomic weapons were built.
"Bringing together the events of 60 years ago into the present can be a tool for protest and healing," says project director Camron Asadi. "By creating a close connection with the destructive nature and history of nuclear weapons, we aim to make peace the higher option."
About the author
Matin Durrani is Deputy Editor of Physics World