A comprehensive section chronicling the discovery of nuclear fission, the race for the atomic bomb, the development of the hydrogen bomb and the ensuing Cold War and beyond.

The First Pile

The saga of man’s first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

The Manhattan Project

“The Manhattan Project: Making the Atomic Bomb” is a history of the American atomic bomb program during World War II.

The Trinity Test

On July 16, 1945 the world changed with the explosion of the first atomic bomb that took place at Trinity Site.

Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

At 8:15 on August 6, 1945, the world's first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Almost the entire city was devastated in that single moment.

Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki

At 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, the explosion of a second atomic bomb devastated the city of Nagasaki.

Race for the Hydrogen Bomb

As the American and Soviet nuclear programs took root and grew, and the race for the hydrogen bomb was soon on.

Cuban Missile Crisis

Learn about the 13-day political and military standoff in October 1962 over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba

Cold War: A Brief History

Explore the critical events of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The British Mission

How a small group of British scientists aided in the development of the first atomic bomb.

Manhattan Project Signature Facilities

Information on the Department of Energy’s Manhattan Project “Signature Facilities”.