I noted a few weeks ago that some new Los Alamos footage had been released. LANL has put up a much longer clip on YouTube. Lots of footage of the natural setting, as well as explosive sites.
Notable moments that I noticed:
- 00:27 – Double rainbow, all the way.
- 01:34 – In this sweep over an explosives range, you can see various bomb casing components, including what looks like an aluminum sphere casing for an implosion weapon, a “Fat Man”/”Gadget” wiring harness (see the “Pressure Sensitive Switch” image here), various back ends of “Fat Man” casings, and what may be a scaled-down “Jumbo” container (see my update note below).
- 02:11 – Cool looking dog.
- 02:37 – Some kind of machine shop. At 02:44 there’s some kind of wiring assembly that looks an awful lot like the breadboard (?) that the “Fat Man” X-Unit components were anchored to.
- 03:16 – Looks like part of the RaLa experiments.
- 03:52 – Looks like it might be Robert R. Wilson, with too heavy a bag, off to go see “Trinity.” There’s a porkpie hat in the center of the crowd at 03:54 that might be Oppenheimer.
- 04:30 – Another cool dog.
- 04:42 – The return of cool dog #1.
- 05:05 – Wait, I thought that the bikini debuted in 1946, and got its name from the nuclear tests at Operation Crossroads? I have been fed lies!
- 05:33 – James Tuck meets Lassie, whose role at Los Alamos is still unwritten.
- 06:17 – If you were doubting how cool the cool dog #1 was, this shot should convince you.
- 06:44 – Physicists and their wives… on horses.
- 07:48 – Physicists on skiis.
- 08:10 – As usual, Hans Bethe knows what he’s doing.1
- 09:37 – Oppenheimer at a wedding.
Watching this, I find myself constantly wondering about the intention of the camera operator(s). Why did they focus on this particular thing or that particular thing? Some things are obvious (the dog is a cool dog!), but others, less so. The longer they linger on something that I don’t recognize, the more I’m curious about what meaning it held to them, if any at all.
I don’t think this is going to cause anybody to rush out and re-think Los Alamos, but it’s kind of neat.
- Edward Teller, I might note, probably couldn’t ski, on account of a foot injury he sustained as a youth. Just putting that out there. I note though that according to Peter Goodchild’s biography, apparently he took his family skiing when they lived in Chicago, so maybe I’m wrong. It’s an important historical question, you have to admit. [↩]