Sometime after he witnessed the first atomic bomb detonation in 1945, theoretical physicist and “father of the atomic bomb” J. Robert Oppenheimer quoted the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita in order to describe what he felt. “Now I am become death” he said, “the destroyer of worlds.” One look at these clips of newly declassified nuclear bomb-test footage from Operation Teapot, which took place at a test site in Nevada in 1955, and it becomes abundantly clear why Oppenheimer felt compelled to speak those words.
In the above and below clips, the recently declassified footage posted to YouTube by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reveals new footage of the atomic bomb blasts aimed at testing various nuclear payloads and delivery methods. The bombs ranged in size from 1 kiloton up to 43 kilotons, that latter bomb releasing 17,990,000,000,000 joules of energy (about the same amount of energy released by an average hurricane in one second). The bombs also had names, like “Tesla,” “Turk,” and “Zucchini.”
All of the bombs tested were fission bombs, meaning they used nuclear fission in order to achieve these unholy displays of destruction. Fission uses the division of atomic nuclei in order to achieve the release of energy, which can occur slowly over time, in the case of a nuclear reactor, or suddenly in the case of these world-ending weapons.
According to Atomic Archive, “These devices were tested for a broad variety of tactical weapon applications, including air defense (AD) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW)…” They were also “intended to familiarize troops with the capabilities of nuclear weapons, and the conditions of atomic combat.”
Below is a clip of Oppenheimer discussing what people felt after seeing an atomic explosion. His eyes tell the whole story.
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