Friday, January 7, 2011

The 1950s Weren't All Innocence And Happiness

   On January 7, 1953 President Harry S. Truman, in his final State of the Union address before Congress, tells the world that that the United States has developed a hydrogen bomb.

First H Bomb Test 

   Ivy Mike was the first H Bomb test. It was exploded at 7:15 am local time on November 1st 1952. The mushroom cloud was 8 miles across and 27 miles high and the canopy was 100 miles wide. 80 million tons of earth was vaporized. This fell to earth as radioactive mud followed by heavy rain. Ivy Mike was the first ever megaton yield explosion. This footage is available in the "TRINITY AND BEYOND™ (The Atomic Bomb Movie)" movie. The 62-ton device was essentially a building that resembled a factory rather than a traditional bomb. At its center, a very large cylindrical thermos flask or "cryostat", held the cryogenic deuterium fusion fuel. A regular fission bomb (the "primary") at one end was used to create the conditions needed to initiate the fusion reaction. In total, 9,350 military and 2,300 civilian personnel were involved in the Mike shot. A large cryogenics plant was installed on Parry Island, at the South end of the Eniwetak atoll, to produce the liquid hydrogen (used for cooling the device) and deuterium needed for the test.

   Are we better off as a human beings for having access to weapons of such awesome destructive power? Yes and No. As a certain superhero said (over and over until we were sick of it) "With great power comes great responsibility!" As long as those that are in charge of these weapons bear this in mind we should be ok. Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day!

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