Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Artifacts from the Manhattan Project era

For the 75th Anniversary of the Trinity Test, National Nuclear Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty visited Los Alamos National Laboratory to see some of the historic sites of the Manhattan Project. During the visit, the Administrator was shown some of the artifacts from the Manhattan Project era
July 16, 2020
A commercial cast-iron candy cooker similar to those used during the Manhattan Project to melt explosives.

A commercial cast-iron candy cooker similar to those used during the Manhattan Project to melt explosives.

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For the 75th Anniversary of the Trinity Test, Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and U.S. Undersecretary of Energy for Nuclear Security, visited Los Alamos National Laboratory to commemorate and recognize the historic event. During the visit, the Administrator visited several historic sites of the Manhattan Project, cut ribbons for three new Los Alamos facilities and virtually addressed the Laboratory workforce in an all-employee meeting. Below are some highlights from the day’s events.

cast iron candy cooker
A commercial cast-iron candy cooker similar to those used during the Manhattan Project to melt explosives. Mixtures of dry, grainy explosives, similar to sugar, were melted in the double-wall cookers and then poured into molds to make the explosive lenses for the Gadget and Fat Man. Exposure to the elements and to the Cerro Grande fire nearly destroyed this candy kettle.
Fat man
The Fat Man casing and assembly drawings of Fat Man, an implosion-type weapon and the second atomic bomb dropped during WWII.
Fat man drawing
The Fat Man casing and assembly drawings of Fat Man, an implosion-type weapon and the second atomic bomb dropped during WWII.
Fermi letter
A letter from Enrico Fermi, on his observations on the Trinity Test on July 16, 1945. Fermi played a pivotal role in the Manhattan project and has been called “the architect of the atomic bomb.”
Oppenheimers chair
Robert Oppenheimer used this office chair from 1943-1945, while he was the director of the Laboratory. This photo was taken in 1964 during his last visit to Los Alamos.

 

Plutonium pit carrying case
A replica of a case used to transport the plutonium core on Tinian island in 1945 for the Fat Man Bomb.
Trinitite
Desert sand, ejected up into the fireball by the blast, vaporized inside the mushroom cloud and fell back, as molten droplets onto ground zero. There is solidified into puddles of a new, manmade mineral, christened trinitite.

See more historic documents and photos of the Trinity Test and Manhattan Project.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is managed by Triad, a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.