Science: While the Earth Shook

He had just finished making a new portable seismograph, designed to record the earth vibrations caused by dynamite explosions. That was last spring. Like most Americans, Harvard's Professor L. Don Leet had never heard of the Manhattan Project. But in June, the professor was tapped lightly on the shoulder and spirited away to New Mexico. There his new gadget went to work recording the biggest man-made explosion in history.

Last week it was finally admitted: the atomic bomb proved a seismological smash-hit. It shook the earth for 20 seconds, and some of the waves it started were entirely new to seismologists. Professor...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!