The H-Bomb & the birth of the Universe

hyrdrogen bomb explosion In an issue of Discover Magazine (Vol.23, No. 12), Tim Folger writes of "The Real Big Bang." For 100 Million years after time began, the universe was dark as pitch. The clouds of hydrogen condensed into huge nuclear fireballs. That moment-when the universe first lit up-was the moment of creation that matters...

This article took me back to something told to me by a brilliant man named Charlie Wyckoff whom I met after making "Trinity and Beyond."


hyrdrogen bomb Charlie worked for EG&G (Edgerton, Germeshausen and Grier) from 1947 on, developing cameras such as the Rapatronic and special film stocks such as XR Film to record the technical aspects of Atomic Bomb Photography.

He showed me many amazing images which he had photographed during this era. I interviewed Charlie for "Atomic Filmmakers."

Not too long after we met, Charlie passed on leaving his many accomplishments with the world of science and photography.


hydrogen bomb Charlie had peered into the heart of nuclear explosions through his photography and told me that he believed he saw answers into the birth of the Universe.

As I read the "Discover" article, I began to think about Charlie's words, accomplishments and imagery.

Since we don't explode H-Bombs anymore, we only have the images to remember. The images on the left represent a sequence of frames from the detonation of a hydrogen bomb.


hyrdrogen bomb sequence image From the initial bright flash of the detonation, we see a drop in the brightness of the explosion. Bomb debris has fanned out and lights up.
hydrogen explosion sequence image

Soon, the star like debris is overcome by the heating of the hydrogen and the blast becomes an ever brightening fireball.

Perhaps a glimpse into the creation of the Universe?