Most human beings alive today have been born in the atomic age. The dawning of the nuclear era was ushered into history on July 16, 1945, in the remote desert of Alamogordo, New Mexico. That first horrific explosion flashed like a thousand suns. Renowned physicist Robert Oppenheimer led the Manhattan Project, the top-secret government-funded program that produced the unprecedented monstrosity. On witnessing the massive fiery detonation, Oppenheimer was moved to ponder lines from the ancient Hindu epic The Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”
Read more in the Jan. 20-26, 2021 issue.