Science: Bomb Wind

After 52 months of studying atom-bomb damage to buildings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Department of Defense summed up their findings for the benefit of U.S. builders. They had little encouraging advice to offer. The report did not deal with the damage by radiation (heat, gamma rays, etc.), considered only the blast, which affects a much larger area than the radiation. But the blast effects it described were awesome enough.

Shock Wave. When an atom bomb explodes above the ground (as it did at Nagasaki and Hiroshima), the air around it is heated tremendously. Its push to...

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