THE ATOM: Political Shock Wave

It was only a "little, tiny bomb," said Atomic Energy Commissioner Willard F. Libby, but last week, half a year after the explosion, its political shock wave jolted Washington.

The A-bomblet, packing the wallop of 1,700 tons of TNT, exploded 800 ft. underground on the AEC's Nevada proving grounds, opened up a new vista for the peaceful uses of atomic explosives (see SCIENCE). But the prospect of the bright atomic future stirred up less interest in Washington than a dispute over how far away an underground A-bomblet's shock wave can be detected. Reason: the ability to detect or conceal a test...

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