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Where to get Trinitite?

Sometimes people ask us questions and we try to answer them because inquiring minds want to know.
January 1, 2016
Favorite Science Questions


  • Linda Anderman
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The fireball from the world’s first atomic bomb test melted 800 yards of sand. When the sand solidified, it was glazed with an olive green, glass-like substance that was named trinitite.

We are asked from time to time if or where one can get Trinitite, the glassy mineral formed by the test of the "Gadget" atomic device set off at Trinity Site on the White Sands Missile Range. For several years after the test, the material was poached from the site by the truckload. It was never officially distributed, and there is no guarantee that any glass called Trinitite is authentic without very exacting analysis well beyond this writer's understanding.

That said, we have been told that there is enough out there in circulation that it is unlikely that anyone would go to the trouble to try to make counterfeit Trinitite. As to where to buy it, we will leave that up to the resourcefulness of our readers. 

The Museum's Educators

Occasionally questions are sent in to edu-bsm@lanl.gov or are left in our feedback box in the Museum.

We work to provide answers to these questions on our blog and the site where we list our favorite questions and answers.