Bernie, Oppie and the Atom Bomb

Author: Brett Beasley

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The Trinity test, as it was known, projected a billowing white mushroom cloud tens of thousands of feet high. And there in the air to see it was Notre Dame physicist Bernard Waldman. While Oppenheimer and others witnessed the blast from inside a purpose-built bunker, Waldman analyzed it from a B-29 observation plane.

By the time he found himself high above the New Mexico desert that morning on July 16, 1945, Waldman was no stranger either to “Oppie” or to the risks involved in nuclear research. He encountered both long before he was recruited to help build the ultimate weapon and put an end to World War II.

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