90th Anniversary Issue: 1940s

The Atomic Age, elementary finds and other highlights, 1940–49

By Science News, 18:56 PM March 7, 2012

Mushroom clouds usher in atomic age
Less than three years separated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction on December 2, 1942, and the production and use of the first nuclear bombs against Hiroshima and Nagasaki (above). In 1946, weapons tests at Bikini Atoll — some witnessed by embedded Science News Letter reporters (7/13/46, p. 22; 8/3/46, p. 67; 8/10/46, p. 84) — brought home the field-acquired details of long-lasting mutation risks. At the end of the decade President Truma...

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