The Atom: Instant Crater

Some 650 ft. below the hard clay surface of Nevada's Frenchman Flat, technicians carefully installed the device in a 6-ft.-high and 75-ft.-long chamber lined with plywood and floored with fine gravel. For a while a contrary wind sweeping across the area threatened to postpone the shot. Then the wind faded and the device was detonated. Standing on a mountain-top 57 miles away, observers could not hear the explosion. But they saw its effect perfectly: a great mass composed of thousands of tons of granite boulders, sand, clay, yucca trees, sagebrush, tumbleweed, and...

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