THE ATOM: Into the Hydrogen Age

At dusk on a drowsy Sunday, reporters filed hurriedly past the guards at the Atomic Energy Commission building in Washington for a special announcement. The announcement was muffled in the AEC's usual cautious language, but its import was still overwhelming: the U.S. has succeeded in a test explosion of a hydrogen weapon in mid-Pacific.

The AEC's report amounted to official verification of a story told much better in scores of letters mailed home by members of the H-bomb task force (TIME, Nov. 17). The bomb (as the letter writers flatly called it) was loaded aboard a Navy ship at San...

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