Trinity

In the early morning of July 16, 1945, in a quiet corner of New Mexico, the first detonation of a nuclear weapon took place. The scientists called it "Trinity."

Composite image of the Trinity test fireball over a few seconds, with the Empire State Building to indicate scale.

Composite image of the Trinity test fireball over a few seconds, with the Empire State Building to indicate scale.

Below is a collection of some of the blog posts and articles I have written that touch on its history. It is not meant to be a comprehensive collection of resources — just a place to collect my writings on this particular test.


  • "The First Light of Trinity" (NewYorker.com) — On the phenomenology of a nuclear explosion.
  • "Trinity at 70: Now We Are All Sons of Bitches" — Reflections on the 70th anniversary of Trinity, and the meaning of test director Kenneth Bainbridge's "Now We Are All Sons of Bitches" reaction to it.
  • "Oppenheimer and the Gita" — Analysis of J. Robert Oppenheimer's famous invocation of the Bhagavad Gita ("I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds") in reaction to Trinity.
  • "James B. Conant on Trinity" — An account of the Trinity test from the President of Harvard University.
  • "Trinity Test Press Releases" — Drafts of "fake" press releases to be released to the public after the Trinity test, which range from the banal to the horrific.
  • "Trinity's Cloud" — Reflections on the images of Trinity we are used to seeing (fireballs), and the ones we are not (mushroom clouds).
  • "The beginning of the bomb" (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists) — Photoessay on the Trinity test.