Atomic Archive

This site explores the science, history, and consequences of the invention of the atomic bomb. It offers information about the events and decisions that led to the development of the bomb and the events and decisions that followed, from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to today's post-Cold War era. For users who wish to understand how nuclear weapons work, the site explains basic atomic physics, nuclear fission, and nuclear fusion. It also explores the effects of nuclear weapons and ponders several "what-if" scenarios. The history section tells the stories of the first nuclear reactor and the first nuclear test in New Mexico's desert. A Resource Library includes historical documents and biographies of the nuclear pioneers, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, Edward Teller, Enrico Fermi, Hans Bethe, and many others. The site offers educators such teaching aids as interactive maps, animations, a timeline of the nuclear age, and a glossary of terms. The Nuclear News section offers topical summaries of current events pertaining to nuclear issues.

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  • Atomic Archive
Animations
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This collection contains animations of a nuclear chain reaction, nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. It also showcases interactive models of the first atomic bombs and simulation of the "Nuclear Winter" effect.

Subject:
Technology
History, Law, Politics
Physics
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2014
Arms Control, Deterrence and Nuclear Proliferation Documents
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This collection contains documents about arms control, nuclear deterrence and nuclear proliferation. Principle documents include: The Baruch Plan, Churchill' s "Iron Curtain" Speech, Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace Speech, Sec. of Defense McNamara's "No Cities" Speech, Sec. of Defense McNamara's "Mutual Deterrence" Speech. The collection also contains documents about recent nuclear events in North Korea, India and Pakistan.

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Material Type:
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Date Added:
10/17/2005
Atomic Physics
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This collection provides a basic introduction to Atomic Physics. It reviews the building blocks of atomic structure, explores atomic isotopes, explains Einstein's famous equation E = mc2, and introduces the various types of radiation.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2005
Cuban Missile Crisis Documents
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These documents chronicle the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis. On October 15, 1962, the Soviet Union was discovered attempting to install nuclear missiles in Cuba. These missiles would have been capable of quickly reaching the United States. President Kennedy responded with a naval blockade. After several days of increasing tensions, the Soviet Union finally agreed to remove the missiles.

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Material Type:
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2005
Developing the Hydrogen Bomb Documents
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These documents chronicle the United States? effort in developing the hydrogen bomb and the effects of the Soviet Union's atomic-bomb development. Documents include: ?General Advisory Committee's Majority and Minority Reports on Building the H-Bomb? and ?Comments on The History of the H-Bomb? by Hans A. Bethe.

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Material Type:
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2014
Documents about the Effects of Nuclear War
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A militarily plausible nuclear attack, even "limited," could be expected to kill people and to inflict economic damage on a scale unprecedented in American experience; a large-scale nuclear exchange would be a calamity unprecedented in human history. This collection of documents includes: "The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki" by The Manhattan Engineer District (1946), "The Effects of Nuclear War, Worldwide Effects of Nuclear War" by U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons" by Samuel Glasstone and Philip J. Dolan.

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Life Science
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2005
Documents about the Missile Defense
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This collection of documents chronicles milestones in the development of a ballistic-missile defense. These include: President Reagan's ?SDI? Speech (excerpts), ?Foreword Written for a Report on the Strategic Defense Initiative,? and President Bush's ?Address to the American People about Ballistic Missile Defense.?

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Material Type:
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2005
Documents about the Oppenheimer Security Hearings
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At the height of McCarthyism, Oppenheimer's politics during the 1930s came under scrutiny and ultimately led to his undoing at the hands of the Atomic Energy Commission in 1953. He asked for a security hearing to review the charges, which went on for four weeks and heard testimony from 40 witnesses including Oppenheimer. Documents include: ?Testimony in the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer - Gen. Leslie Groves, Hans Bethe, George F. Kerman, I. I. Rabi, Edward Teller,? and ?Decision and Opinions of the United States Atomic Energy Commission in the Matter of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer.?

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Material Type:
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2005
Example Scenarios
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This section explores several hypothetical scenarios of nuclear-weapon detonations on U.S. cities. These scenarios are meant to illustrate the possibilities of such events. Scenarios include a "what-if" scenario of a 150-kiloton nuclear explosion by terrorists on New York City, and the effects of a nuclear accident or "broken arrow" on board a nuclear submarine in San Francisco Bay.

Subject:
Technology
History, Law, Politics
Physics
Material Type:
Homework/Assignment
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2005
Hiroshima-Remembered.com: Documents about the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
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Documents about the atomic boming of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These include: Potsdam Declaration, White House Press Release on Hiroshima, an Eyewitness Account of Atomic Bomb Over Nagasaki, Eyewitness Account of Hiroshima By Father John A. Siemes, The Voice of Hibakusha, The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by The Manhattan Engineer District, The Yields of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Nuclear Explosions , On My Participation In The Atom Bomb Project - Albert Einstein, and Truman's Reflections on the Atomic Bombings.

Subject:
Technology
History, Law, Politics
Life Science
Physics
Material Type:
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2005
Historical Documents and Reports
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This section features a collection of some of the documents and reports that have shaped the atomic age. Categories include: The Nuclear Age Begins, The Manhattan Project, The Trinity Test, The Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, Developing the Hydrogen Bomb, The Oppenheimer Affair, Cuban Missile Crisis, Arms Control, Deterrence and Nuclear Proliferation, and Missile Defense.

Subject:
Technology
History, Law, Politics
Physics
Material Type:
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2005
The Manhattan Project Documents
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These documents chronicle the establishment of a secret program?which came to be known as the Manhattan Project?to develop an atomic bomb, a powerful explosive nuclear weapon. Principal documents include: ?The Quebec Agreement,? The Roosevelt-Churchill "Tube Alloys" Deal, Interim Committee's Report, ?Report of the Committee on Political and Social Problems (The Franck Report), and ?Atomic Energy for Military Purposes (The Smyth Report).?

Subject:
Technology
History, Law, Politics
Physics
Material Type:
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2005
Manhattan Project Signature Facilities
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This collection is a list of the Department of Energy's Manhattan Project "Signature Facilities" approved by the Departmental Corporate Board on Historic Preservation in December 1999. Taken together, the eight Signature Facilities provide the core for DOE's ability to successfully interpret, whether in situ or through museum or other interpretive setting, the Manhattan Project mission of developing atomic bombs during World War II. This list does not preclude protection and preservation of other historic facilities in the nuclear-weapons complex. Just as these facilities constitute the core for DOE-wide preservation, access, and interpretation, sites may have site-specific signature facilities that best interpret that site's Manhattan Project mission from a local, state, regional, national or international perspective.

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Reading
Unit of Study
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2005
Maps
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This collection presents maps of blast and fire damage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, and the radioactive fallout levels from the Trinity and BRAVO tests. The collection also includes maps of Manhattan Project Era Sites (Hanford, Washington, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Los Alamos, New Mexico).

Subject:
Technology
History, Law, Politics
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2014
The Nuclear Age Begins
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These early documents chronicle the beginnings of the atomic age: Meitner and Frisch's ?Nature Article: Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons,? Einstein's Letter to President Roosevelt, President Roosevelt's response to Dr. Einstein, Frisch-Peierls Memorandum, and ?The MAUD Report.?

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Physics
Material Type:
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2005
Nuclear Arms Control Treaties
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This section contains summaries of all the major arms-control treaties including: Limited Test Ban Treaty, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty I (Interim Agreement), Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, Threshold Test Ban Treaty, Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty - INF, Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty.

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2014
Nuclear Facilities
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In order to produce nuclear weapons, each country must have facilities to produce and refine the nuclear materials, conduct research on weapon design, and store the completed weapons. The interactives in this collection allow you to explore the nuclear facilities of the nuclear powers (both declared and undeclared).

Subject:
Technology
History, Law, Politics
Material Type:
Data Set
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2005
Nuclear Fission
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This section covers the basics of nuclear fission, nuclear chain reactions and spontaneous fission. It also contains diagrams and explanations of the first atomic bombs (?Little Boy? and ?Fat Man?).

Subject:
Technology
Physics
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Atomic Archive
Author:
Christopher Griffith
Date Added:
10/17/2014