Trinitite is a remnant of the very first nuclear explosion
First nuclear explosion in the world
At half past five in the morning on 16 July 1945 the world changed forever. At that moment the first atomic bomb was detonated, which would change the world forever. The bomb, with a force of 19,000 tons of TNT, was attached to a steel tower in the New Mexico desert. Moments later, the very first nuclear explosion was a fact.
The bomb was given the official code name 'Trinity' and was also informally called 'Gadget'. The explosion released an enormous shock wave that shattered windows 190 kilometres away. The light of the explosion was still visible at a distance of 290 kilometres. The Trinity explosion was the successful result of three years of research and many experiments by the Manhattan Project.
After the explosion a crater remained with a molten glass-like substance. This substance is called trinitite and consists mainly of silicon dioxide that was formed from molten sand. It is usually green and sometimes red because of the iron content in the sand. Immediately after the explosion, this material was highly radioactive. Nowadays, the radioactivity can hardly be measured. The top is often smooth while grains of sand are still visible at the bottom. The available quantity of trinitite is very limited and makes it a very popular collector's item of a very special piece of earth history.