Latent Image #5: I am become death

Here are some stunning images of early nuclear testing from The Atlantic’s In Focus, a well curated photo blog providing context for current events. I suppose the topic at hand was prompted by the recent earthquakes in Japan that have reminded everybody about the latent destructive power of nuclear energy. You can view the full set with more information about each photo here.

US Department of Defense

Associated Press

National Nuclear Security Administration

US Department of Defense

US Department of Defense

The last image is a photograph of physicist Robert Oppenheimer, considered the father of the atomic bomb, working on “The Gadget” in 1945. Twenty years later, he famously described his feelings about his role in the development of nuclear weapons with the following words from a Hindu scripture:

Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.

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