The site of the world's first nuclear detonation, code named 'Trinity,' is seen 0.016 seconds after the explosion on July 16, 1945. The effort to build a bomb during World War II, called the Manhattan Project, led by physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was begun in 1941.
J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist and physics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, has been called 'The Father of the Atomic Bomb.' Oppenheimer later recalled a sacred Hindu scripture, saying 'If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one. and Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. Newscom/File
An atomic blast is seen over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the first of only two offensive uses of nuclear weapons in history. The United States controversially dropped nuclear bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a bid to end World War II.
The ruined city of Hiroshima is seen after the atomic bombing in August 1945. Newscom/File
Monkeys are exposed to radiation in 1959 at this U.K. establishment designed to gauge the effect of a nuclear explosion. Newscom/File
This picture, taken on Oct. 31, 1952, shows the explosion from the first American hydrogen bomb in the Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The Marshall Islands is pressing the United States for more compensation for the damage caused by nuclear tests, officials said on March 26, 2009, after France announced it would pay its own victims. The United States conducted 67 atomic weapons tests on the atolls of Bikini and Enewetak in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958. AFP/Newscom
French officers view a French nuclear test carried out in Reggane, in the southern Sahara desert in 1960. Reggane was the site where the first French nuclear bomb was tested on Feb. 13, 1960 before the Algerian independence. According to the French daily Le Parisien released on Feb. 16, 2010, a group of soldiers were deliberately exposed to the radiation by the military hierarchy to test the psycholigical effects on human beings after a nuclear bomb blast. From the blasted wastes of the Sahara to the cancer wards of Normandy, the bitter fallout of France's atomic weapons program still lingers 50 years after nuclear testing began. HO/AFP/Newscom/File
On Aug. 5, 1963 representatives of the USSR, US, and Great Britain's governments signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in atmosphere, space, and under water. This file photo shows an atomic blast at Semipalatinsk test ground in Kazakhstan. Newscom/File
Dummies are set up in various uniforms on Dec. 28, 1960 to be used in the third French A-bomb explosion in Reggane, in the Algerian desert, to study the effects on personnel. HO/AFP/Newscom/File
A picture taken in 1971 shows a nuclear explosion in Mururoa atoll. France said on March 24, 2009 it will compensate 150,000 victims of nuclear testing carried out in the 1960s in French Polynesia and Algeria, after decades of denying its responsibility. AFP/File
The first Soviet atomic bomb RDS-1 (or Joe One) and the first Soviet hydrogen bomb RDS-6 (second from below) are on display at the Museum of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center 'All-Russian Scientific and Research Institute of Experimental Physics' in the Town of Sarov. Nikolai Moshkov/ITAR-TASS/Newscom/File
The mushroom cloud from 'Ivy Mike,' the first US test of a fusion bomb, is seen on the Enewetak atoll in 1952. A fusion-boosted fission weapon is capable of vastly increasing the yield of a nuclear device's payload.
This photo shows a submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) surfacing. Missiles like these are capable of traveling nearly 4,000 miles. In an all out nuclear war, most of the nuclear payloads would likely be carried by ICBMs, due to their extreme range, accuracy, and the difficulty in defending against them. Lockheed Martin/US Department of Defense