Declassified Nuclear Test Films Reveal Hidden Truths About Our Atomic Past

Declassified Nuclear Test Films Reveal Hidden Truths About Our Atomic Past


In July 1945, scientists detonated Trinity,
the world’s first nuclear bomb. At the time, no one was sure what was going
to happen. But the test was a terrifying success, and
it led to an international arms race. The United States conducted over 200 atmospheric
weapons tests for two key reasons: grandstanding and fine tuning. They wanted to prove their military might,
and make better, more powerful nuclear weapons. So, they tested out new designs in the air,
on the ground, and at sea. All of these massive fireballs were captured
by strategically placed cameras around a test site, and then analyzed by scientists. The big number they were all after? The yield, or the amount of energy released. These films hold the best scientific data
we have of our nuclear potential. That is, until a weapons physicist decades
later found out the data from these films might be off a bit. About 10 years ago, I was asked by my boss
to write this computer code that would predict nuclear fallout, and I couldn’t seem to get
the answer to agree no matter what I did. That’s Greg Spriggs, a weapons physicist
with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. I kept saying, “I’m not doing anything wrong
in my computer code.” Typical scientific answer right, it’s always
somebody else’s fault, not yours.” For weapons physicists like Greg, computer
codes are everything. They’re used to verify the thousands of
thermonuclear warheads on standby all across the country. And the original data for those codes came
in part from these films. That’s the benefit of the data. It provides ground truth to us , the reality,
and it gives everybody a warm fuzzy feeling back in Washington. If it ever comes to a point that we have to
use a nuke, it better work. So Greg is working on a special project to
scan and reanalyze all of the old films, and make sure the data is up to snuff. To do that, he had to track down thousands
of Cold War era film canisters. They’d been sitting in high security vaults
for decades and hadn’t been seen by the public. Some of the films had decomposed to the point
where they had turned to dust. The only way to accurately study these films
is to digitally scan them. And Greg needed an expert in film preservation. So he brought in Jim Moye. For Jim, each film is a mini time capsule. It’s kind of cool to be opening something
and having no idea what’s there. Jim processes each nuclear film with this
Hollywood-style scanner. So far, they’ve digitally scanned over 4,000
films. Then came the work of analyzing them. There are four major effects.The first one
I’ll call prop radiation. Greg spends a lot of time watching bombs explode. These are the prop neutrons or the prop gammas
that are coming off of the fission process. We’re looking at Housatonic 120256, the
last nuclear shot before all atmospheric testing came to a complete stop in 1962. The next major effect is what’s called the
shockwave//a big, high-density air region that is moving through the atmosphere at very
high speed. Measuring the size of a shock wave over time
can reveal how much energy a bomb releases. So this shockwave is moving very, very fast.
and when it hits something … You could imagine standing in a hurricane, having that wind
blowing at you at 200 miles an hour, well this is much higher speed. Back in the 1950s though, the shockwave was
calculated by hand using a device called a kodagraph. They projected the film onto a grid and advanced
it frame by frame. Scientists we’re doing this manually and
very quickly, a process prone to human error. we found that some of those yields could be
off by as much as 20% or 30%. But now, with these films digitized, Greg
can analyze every single pixel in the fireball’s edge. This means for the very first time, we’re
able to get a more accurate sense of a bomb’s yield. The next effect was the thermal blast. When the shock wave moves through the atmosphere
it also heats the air, and that hot air then starts to radiate thermal energy. Two pulses emerge from a fireball. The first pulse happens within 81 milliseconds
and has 0.6% of thermal radiation. The second carries about 99% of total thermal
radiation energy from the blast. Then the fourth major effect, of course, is
nuclear fallout.The films can’t measure nuclear fallout, but measuring the cloud height
can give experts a sense of the extent of the damage. I found that those cloud heights could be
off by as much as 10% or 15%, which makes a big difference in nuclear fallout. By pinpointing more precise yields, Greg can
update computer models to estimate the damage from a bomb in different scenarios. Ultimately, they’re perfecting data for
nuclear weapons that will hopefully never be used. Still, the pursuit is worth it.This is something
new, this is what scientists live for, is to kind of push the frontier forward just
a little bit. There’s something unnerving about watching
these mushroom clouds. And while we aren’t testing nuclear weapons
anymore, these films stand as a terrifying reminder of our nuclear past
and potential.

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  1. if anyone ever needs a voice actor to play noam chomsky, call greg.
    also, the yield of this video was off by at least 50%. clickbait title, no explanation of reasons. non sequitur. lame.

  2. Yeah, anyone who knows how to develop does not call it computer code…. lol and anyone in the sciences would not use a mac to do this lmao

  3. never used LMFAO yeah sure they wont be used they will be used in the future sense why else would a country stockpile dozens of them

  4. We'll take anything topic and make $$$$ off of it…

    Godzilla’s Origins Explained in 5 Minutes

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HF5NSX5VnU

  5. You know what. These are the same sons of bitches that rule & complicate the world. Dumb ass scientists that know jack shit about squat. All they know is "if things go wrong then everyone dies & nobody will blame us." Asswipes the lots of em.

  6. I regret to criticise someone that if there weren't any modern weapons, there wouldn't be any serious wars or conflicts on this green planet. Who create these complex, modern weapons? poor, least developed or developing nations?😏 Why can't they only produce technologies that are economically, socially and environmentally friendly and beneficial to our green world?
    Weapons have killed millions of people. I wish some people were not too selfish 😑

  7. Nagasaki and Hiroshima are tourist attractions, so don't worry if we get nuked our kids will make money off our remains

  8. The world could end but let's do it anyway. Humans are most definitely not the smartest species on the planet. In fact, they're pretty fucking stupid if you ask me.

  9. It would have been nice to know in what direction were the estimated yields wrong. And especially the implications of the error and it's resolution.

  10. @ 1:57 "..make sure the data is up to SNUFF" ??????? This is ww3 propaganda!!! Evil!!!
    "Ehm.. how do we (evil people) make the dumb ass public believe that NUCLEAR FALLOUT is not so BAD so we can use our nukes for a good cause like money grabin world dominion?"
    "Oh I know!"
    "Make a video that the info was bad, they were wrong … they didn't have computers back then…"
    Jesus Christ! Repent!
    Col. 3:2
    "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

  11. North Korea detonates it's nukes underground. Does that mean their poisoning themselves? Wouldn't that radiation get into their ground water and such?

  12. Not 1 declassified detonation was seen here. A lot of opinion with not a lot of facts. Also where's the segway into the rods of God? As prior military personnel, you people would fucking shit yourselves if you knew what we have in our Arsenal in 2019. You know of the rail gun, that's just a public view operation.

  13. The first test name "Trinity" was given because it symbolises 3 Indian brother Gods : Shiva (Lord of destruction) + Brahma (Lord of Universe) + Vishnu (Lord of Creation) … 3 GODS with all the powers … Also Oppenheimer had quoted Shiva the Lord of Destruction.

  14. Dude, just think about the crazy fucks that invented the Nuke and the first time they tested one and saw what it actually did..they were probably laughing at the fact of how crazy it was they were being allowed to do this shit lol…it is straight up some mad scientist shit!!!

  15. Great so the destruction of a nuclear weapon is 20-30% off. Does it fucking matter? If some dickhead uses it, the consequences, in terms of physical destruction and the political madness that will ensue, are the same. We're almost exactly the same as our ancestors in Rome, same brains, same emotions, same desires, and same bodies. only difference is we could blow up the entire planet if we wanted to. Humans have not evolved fast enough mentally and physically to handle the technology at hand.

  16. Just remember everyone if shit ever did really hit the fan just hope you have some kind of awesome trade under your belt the government will need and you might be safe.

  17. Hmm, didn't say if the results were higher or lower, just that they were off. Well, if you are trying to make your own private shelter or something like that, best err on the side of caution and presume it is over, too much strength would just be nice secure redundancy, too little could be disaster…

  18. I love Seeker. But "if we ever have to use a nuclear weapon, it'd better work…"? I'm not sure if I agree with that….M.A.D. took us to the brink. Fortunately we survived. We're blindly edging back to the abyss again. We may not be so lucky a second time….

  19. His work is important… Really important…
    Imagine we forget about the bombs, live on hand written notes from the 50's… And any accuracy we had turns into dust.
    Then finally someone orders some bombs… Whoops, we didn't know

  20. The two flashes of light are different. The first pulse of light is Cerenkov Radiation, the emission of blue light from the air round the bomb, caused by the massive neutron flux exciting electrons in the air which then drop back down to thier orignal orbits, releasing a blue photon. This is before the bomb casing has ruptured.

    The second flash is the fireball expanding and dumping energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation, including visible light, infraread, x-rays and gamma rays.

    The further apart the two flashes are , the bigger the bomb. On a 20kt device the two are only microseconds apart, and indistinguishable, but on the Tsara Bomb, the largest ever detonated, the two flashes were visibly four seconds apart.

  21. I think nuclear detonations are simply large amounts of dynamite exploding. The footage I've watched can better be explained that way. Some of the earliest testing looks more like a young child's video project for school. Hiroshima, Nagasaki photos of the ground zero ruins look more like conventional WWII bombing. Also, I find it very unlikely that they've not been used in war since. Call me crazy. Any thoughts? (Be gentle)

  22. I'd be more interested in finding out what the world wide cancer rate was before nuclear testing began in the atmosphere compared to during and after the testing… But that's probably super classified info cause they've given millions and millions of people radiation sickness from the testing..

  23. Hey I'm js that was nearly 100 years ago imagine with all the technology we have today how big the yield would be on all of the secret weapons the government has

  24. The whole world is radioactive. The sun is radioactive. The universerse is full of radiation. Blasting all those nuclear bombs all over the world in the air, oceans and earth have most likely contributed to a fair amount of cancer victims since the very first blast. 👍😎

  25. Computer codes are everything for these university scum because they can no longer think!
    Americans who refer to us as "the Americans."

  26. Biggest Mistake that humanity ever made.. No one will win a Nuclear war. Thousands have died since the disasters in Japan.. I am in total support of a Nuclear Freeze. Anyone who supports this madness is as insane as those who make the xxxxxx nukes!!

  27. where they bigger in yield or lower,he probably got threatened by the cia,they told him say nothing,just off,that is it sir!!!!god bless america!!!

  28. Do you know what's wrong with all this…nuclear weapons in general…we as people as a whole are dumb as shit and should not have such power…there's nothing good about it either…the earth suffers from this and no one with higher power gives two shits that we are killing the earth they only care about money….but what will money be if we are not hear to spend it..

  29. Chances are yields were lower. Also half of the energy is of absolutely no value militarily as that energy goes upwards into the atmosphere.

  30. In a full-scale nuclear war the only thing to remember is nobody survives in the long-term

    Even if you stay underground for a year when you come up you're going to have radioactive fallout all over everything and nuclear winter

    We truly are idiots to have weapons like this

    This was made to win World War II but we had won World War II by the time we were ready to drop these

    We hit two cities in Japan that had high civilian populations and the third one we lost in the Pacific ocean or else there would have been three cities destroyed in Japan

    Most likely Tokyo would have been hit after Nagasaki

  31. fake nuke weapons don't exist its a lie do your research https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXGsA7p4Sfs

    and thats a documentary

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo7Ytg9ckC0

  32. I agree with Smitty,and misleading thumbnails seems to be the trend with a lot of YouTube videos these days.It sux,and videos that are what the thumbnails content suggests gets a like from me,and then my preferences are all kept together in liked videos.

  33. Satans world…ones that believe in God of the Bible and Jesus are Savior…ours is coming and theirs will be destroyed!

  34. To: The narrator:
    As Mork, (Robin Williams), would say, "Heavy sigh". Codes to enable nuclear weapons launches are completely different from 'computer code' AKA program code which is a set of instructions which a computer executes to accomplish a task or tasks.

  35. They were trying to blow a hole in the atmosphere so they can try get to the moon.
    When that didn't work they just faked the moon landing.

  36. Sentence 2: "At the time no one was sure what was going to happen." Right. They'd just spent two years of their lives building a bomb in the middle of a world war, and they didn't know what was going to happen. Did you scriptwriter get hard up against a deadline?
    Sentence 3: "Scientists were even concerned the Earth's atmosphere would catch fire." No, they weren't; there had been three studies performed by the likes of Hans Bethe, Edward Teller and Richard Feynman to come to the same conclusion that it wouldn't. Enrico Fermi made a joke about it before the test and was told to knock it off by the test director as it was scaring the Army guards (and apparently also Seeker) who didn't know better.
    Sentence 5: "The United States conducted over 200 atmospheric weapons tests, for two key reasons: grandstanding and fine-tuning." They actually had six reasons: Weapons development (fine-tuning falls in this category), weapons effects, physics experiments, industrial uses, safety testing and miscellaneous: dog and pony, sending a message, grandstanding. Sometimes a test did more than one.

    Sort of a shaky foundation on which to build an inconclusive story. It's apparent this was pretty much a shot in the dark, and there has been no follow-up on it two years down the line. "Huge margins" turns out to mean "as much as 30% in yield".

  37. “If it ever comes to a point where we use a nuke, it betta work”,…. actually I think that’s, “if it ever comes to a point where we use a nuke, we’re fucked”

  38. instead of meeting the needs of people, governments have wasted resources on ways to destroy humanity. God would not let that happen, He has said so. what a waste.

  39. Holding my nuclear football right this very moment. A Wilson official NFL touchdown. All i have to do is enter the launch activation code and…

    Nuke 'em high. Nuke 'em low. Nuke 'em until they glow, glow, glow.

  40. 0:54 does anyone know which test this was? It’s unusual how the explosion behaves, I want to look up what was different about this one

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