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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History


This section provides an overview of the history of the Manhattan Project, the key organizations involved, the science behind the bomb, and more.

Atomic Age Design

The development of nuclear weapons had a notable impact on many aspects of American culture, including design. Spanning the late 1940s through about 1960, Atomic Age design is characterized by references and responses to nuclear science and the atomic bomb.In the aftermath of World War II, the United States underwent a period of mass suburbanization. […]

Atomic Culture

Since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, people in the United States and around the world have developed cultural expressions of the atomic bomb.

Atomic Energy Commission

The Atomic Energy Commission succeeded the Manhattan Engineer District in January 1947, when the Atomic Energy Act went into effect.

Atomic Veterans 1946-1962

From 1946 to 1962, the United States conducted about 200 atmospheric nuclear tests–more than the other nuclear states put together at that time.[1] Approximately 400,000 servicemen in the US Army, Navy, and Marines were present during these atmospheric tests,[2] whether as witnesses to the tests themselves or as post-test cleanup crews. At that time, many […]

Atomic Veterans: Enewetak Atoll

The Marshall Islands in the Pacific were subjected to 67 nuclear tests from 1946 to 1958.[1] Some of the most notable operations included Operation Crossroads, which examined the effects of nuclear explosions on Navy ships; Operation Greenhouse, which focused on reducing the size and weight of an atomic bomb and decreasing the amount of fissile […]

Broken Arrow Accidents

The U.S. military uses the term “Broken Arrow” to refer to an accident that involves nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons components.

Camp Century

During the Cold War, the U.S. Army built a military complex under the Greenland ice sheet as a prototype for nuclear missile silos.

Castle Bravo

On March 1, 1954, the United States carried out its largest nuclear detonation, “Castle Bravo,” at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The Bravo explosion was more than two and a half times greater than expected and caused far higher levels of fallout and damage than scientists had predicted.

Cold War

The Cold War began shortly after WWII and plunged the world into a series of conflicts that would last more than forty years.