The Bomb Timeline

Atomic Bomb


Antoine Henry Becquerel discovers radioactivity


Radioactiviy in uranium was discovered. At the time he was researching atoms, molecules, nuclei, mass, and energy.

Marie and Pierre Curie isolate radium


Radium is a radioactive material. The Curie's were following Becquerel's work and were able to separate one gram of radium salts from eight tons of pitchblende.

Einstein creates the Theory of Relativity


If mass could be converted into energy then large quantities of energy could be liberated.

Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman "split" an atom


They had produced nuclear fission and transformed mass into energy 33 years after Einstein said it was possible.

"One Great Mistake."

August 2, 1939

"In the course of the last four months it has been made probable to the work of Joliot in France as well as Fermi and Szilard in America-that it may become possible to set up nuclear chain reactions in a large mass of uranium... This new phenomenon would also lead to the constructions of bombs,,, A single bomb of this type, carried by boat or exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port togerther with some of the surrounding territory.

Fat Man

July 1945

The first nuclear test that took place in Alamogordo, New Mexico, to test how far the reaction will go.


August 1945

This was the second atomic bomb drop and killed 75,000 people.

Enola Gay

August 6, 1945

An American airplane drops the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare on Hiroshima, Japan. 142,000 ultimately died.



Soviets launch the first space vehicle to orbit the Earth.