When We Tested Nuclear Bombs

Since the time of Trinity -- the first nuclear explosion in 1945 -- nearly 2,000 nuclear tests have been performed. Most of these occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. When the technology was new, tests were frequent and often spectacular, and they led to the development of newer, more deadly weapons. Since the 1990s, there have been efforts to limit the testing of nuclear weapons, including a U.S. moratorium and a U.N. comprehensive test ban treaty. As a result, testing has slowed -- though not halted -- and there are looming questions about who will take over for those experienced engineers who are now near retirement? Gathered here are images from the first 30 years of nuclear testing. See also "Can We Unlearn the Bomb?" and "Atomic Weapons on Film."

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • ChinaFotoPress / Getty

    Selfie Sticks Extend Their Reach

    The use of a stick to hold a camera at a distance for a self-portrait is not a new phenomenon, but the popularity of the new breed of extendable selfie stick has exploded over the past two years.

  • NASA / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 8/22-8/28

    Hikers on a moonlit night in Mexico, a massive ball pit in Washington, D.C., Usain Bolt taken down by a Segway in China, a squirrel monkey riding a capybara in Japan, and much more.

  • Abd Doumany / AFP / Getty

    Syria’s Children

    Four and a half years of violent conflict have destroyed entire regions of Syria. Caught in the middle of all this horror are the children of Syria, relying on parents who have lost control of their own lives and are now being forced to make difficult choices in desperate circumstances.

  • Jeff Vinnick / Reuters

    20 Years Ago This Week: A Look Back at 1995

    A look back at news images from the last week in August, 1995, two decades ago.

Join the Discussion