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Manhattan Project National Historical Park update

Interact at the Lab as it was in the 1940s
March 1, 2016
Manhattan Project app image

An iPad app called Los Alamos: the Secret City of the Manhattan Project, will soon be downloadable for free from the Apple Store.

If you’ve been to Los Alamos, you’ve surely seen, and perhaps even walked around, Ashley Pond. Hopefully, you’ve also visited Fuller Lodge and walked down Bathtub Row. All of these current landmarks were important parts of the Los Alamos Ranch School, which became part of Project Y, the name given to the Los Alamos operations of the Manhattan Project.

But unless you were here back then, you’ve never had the chance to walk among the offices or research buildings that ringed Ashley Pond, forming the original technical area of Project Y as they existed in the 1940s. Now, you will be able to do that…at least virtually. An iPad app called Los Alamos: The Secret City of the Manhattan Project, will soon be downloadable for free from the Apple Store. Through video game–type animations, it will enable users to experience the Los Alamos main technical area, the Project Y entry point at 109 East Palace Avenue in Santa Fe, V Site (where the Gadget components were assembled), S Site (where tests on the gun-assembled Little Boy device were conducted), and even Trinity Site near San Antonio, NM, where the Gadget was detonated as the first man-made atomic test.

The app can be used in two modes. In game mode you become a worker joining the Project Y team and discovers various aspects of the Manhattan Project by exploring these sites through a virtual first-person walk-around. By learning more, you acquire higher “clearance levels” that gain you access to the next level. If you’d rather look down on the scene from above, you can use the game in map view flyover mode. A user anywhere, who has downloaded the app, can use this mode.

The augmented reality mode is special for someone using the app right on site in Los Alamos. Various markers, similar to QR codes, are part of the Historic Walking Tour signs. Training your iPad camera on the marker enables a view through your screen of what the scene you are looking at today looked like during Project Y. Look around 360 degrees and take in the secret sights!

Watch @the Bradbury for an announcement of the Apple Store premier of the Secret City app. In the meantime, you can get a preview of the app here.