The Trinity test

I have read two-and-a-half books on the creation and use of the atomic bomb. The first was Richard Rhodes Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb, which went into great detail on the building of the bomb. I also read Genius by James Gleick, a biography of Richard Feynman, one of the many physicists who worked on the bomb. And now, I am halfway through American Prometheus, another Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Halfway through the book, the Trinity test has just taken place and I can’t emphasize enough how much of a chill it causes in me to read descriptions of the test, even though I have read them several times before. It is perhaps one of the best examples of cognitive dissonance that I can imagine: the impressiveness of the human imagination to deduce such staggering power and pry the secrets loose from Nature; and yet at the same time, the horror of the invention in the hands of fallable men.

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.