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1945: Oppenheimer and Kitty share secret code

Robert Oppenheimer goes home to say goodbye to his wife Kitty, before heading for Trinity. She gives him a 4-leaf clover (a real one, from the backyard!). They review the code phrase he’ll use to let her know that the test was a success: “you can change the sheets.” (What I don’t know is how […]

1945: Blisters on the plutonium

Cyril Smith, metallurgist, found something wrong with the plutonium hemispheres. Atop the plutonium was nickel plating, and the plating on the flat part of the hemispheres began blistering. he fixed the problem by partially filing down and smoothing surface with sheets of gold foil.

1945: Memo: 11 July 1700 hours

Trinity Test Procedure Memo: 11 July 1700 hours. Both charges completely papered. Work another night shift if necessary to complete this job. Request personnel as necessary.

1945: Oppenheimer readies for departure

Oppenheimer, preparing to leave Los Alamos for the Trinity test site, goes to his office and sorts through various papers. He gives some instructions to his secretary. Secretary notices that he seems a bit different, distracted. Secretary thinks, Something important is about to happen

1945: How to make the explosives fit tight?

Bradbury and Kistiakowsky debate over how to fill the cracks between HE castings. Grease? Kistiakowsky sez no. The air spaces are not much at all. They decide they can be made snug by kleenex and scotch tape.

1945: Exodus from Los Alamos to Trinity

Many scientists leave Los Alamos for Trinity. They take equipment for the test. Laura Fermi, wife of Enrico Fermi, remembers: Early in July men had started to disappear from the mesa and the word “Trinity” had floated with insistence in the air.