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Trinity SiteNew Mexico

Trinity was the code name of the first detonation of a nuclear weapon. It was conducted by the United States Army at 5:29 a.m. on July 16, 1945, as part of the Manhattan Project. The test was conducted in the Jornada del Muerto desert about 35 miles (56 km) southeast of Socorro, New Mexico, on what was then the USAAF Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range, now part of White Sands Missile Range. The only structures originally in the vicinity were the McDonald Ranch House and its ancillary buildings, which scientists used as a laboratory for testing bomb components. A base camp was constructed, and there were 425 people present on the weekend of the test.


Roswell Crash:
Roswell Daily Record, July 8, 1947

In mid-1947, a United States Army Air Forces balloon crashed at a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico.[1] Following wide initial interest in the crashed "flying disc", the US military stated that it was merely a conventional weather balloon.[2] Interest subsequently waned until the late 1970s, when ufologists began promoting a variety of increasingly elaborate conspiracy theories, claiming that one or more alien spacecraft had crash-landed and that the extraterrestrial occupants had been recovered by the military, which then engaged in a cover-up.


The 1947 UFO controversy of Roswell, N.M. is like a bad penny: It keeps turning up.

The legend, rehashed by conspiracy theorists in countless documentaries, revolves around allegations that an unusual object fell from the sky — an object so bizarre that the U.S. Air Force issued a press release that a flying saucer had crashed.

That story was quickly recanted, creating what would become one of the greatest urban legends in American history.

Until now, most debunkers doubted that there was even one crash. Now, in an exclusive interview, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Richard French told The Huffington Post that there were actually two crashes.

This revelation is especially remarkable considering that French was known in the past to debunk UFO stories.


“There were actually two crashes at Roswell, which most people don’t know,” French told HuffPost. “The first one was shot down by an experimental U.S. airplane that was flying out of White Sands, N.M., and it shot what was effectively an electronic pulse-type weapon that disabled and took away all the controls of the UFO, and that’s why it crashed.”

French — an Air Force pilot who was in Alamagordo, N.M., in 1947, being tested in an altitude chamber, an annual requirement for rated officers — was very specific in how the military allegedly brought down what he believes was a spacecraft from another world.

“When they hit it with that electromagnetic pulse — bingo! — there goes all their electronics and, consequently, the UFO was uncontrollable,” said French, who flew hundreds of combat missions in Korea and Southeast Asia, and who held several positions working for Military Intelligence.



The first transistor - December 1947

A stylized replica of the first transistor

The Bell team made many attempts to build such a system with various tools, but generally failed. Setups where the contacts were close enough were invariably as fragile as the original cat's whisker detectors had been, and would work briefly, if at all. Eventually they had a practical breakthrough. A piece of gold foil was glued to the edge of a triangular plastic wedge, and then the foil was sliced with a razor at the tip of the triangle. The result was two very closely spaced contacts of gold. When the plastic was pushed down onto the surface of a crystal and voltage applied to the other side (on the base of the crystal), current started to flow from one contact to the other as the base voltage pushed the electrons away from the base towards the other side near the contacts. The point-contact transistor had been invented.



The First Transistorized Computer

January, 1954:

If transistors could replace vacuum tubes in the phone system, then they certainly could replace them in computers too.  The army, with its need for ever-faster and more efficient calculations, was the first to jump on the bandwagon.  The advantages of transistors over vacuum tubes were many -- not only were they smaller and quicker, but they used next to no power compared to vacuum tubes.  (The vacuum tube-powered ENIAC, for example, reportedly caused brownouts in Philadelphia whenever it was turned on.) Transistors also flipped on instantaneously, compared to sluggish vacuum tubes, which took several seconds to warm up. 

Transistors, unfortunately, were substantially more expensive than vacuum tubes -- costing $20 as compared to $1 for a vacuum tube -- but the advantages still outweighed that one drawback. In January of 1954, supported by the military, engineers from Bell Labs built the first computer without vacuum tubes.  Known as TRADIC (for TRAnsistorized DIgital Computer), the machine was a mere three cubic feet, a mind-boggling size when compared with the 1000 square feet ENIAC hogged. It contained almost 800 point-contact transistors and 10,000 germanium crystal rectifiers.  It could perform a million logical operations every second, still not quite as fast as the vacuum tube computers of the day, but pretty close.  And best of all, it operated on less than 100 watts of power. 

-- Crystal Fire by Michael Riordan and Lillian Hoddeson   
-- History of Computers 


The History of the Microwave:

In the '20's, Spencer became one of Raytheon's most valued and well-known engineers. During World War II, while Raytheon was working on improving radar technology for Allied forces, Spencer was the company's go-to problem solver. For example, he helped to developproximity fuses, or detonators that allowed you to trigger artillery shells so they'd explode in mid-air prior to hitting their mark. In an email to Popular Mechanics, current Raytheon engineer and part-time company historian Chet Michalak says Spencer "had a knack for finding simple solutions to manufacturing problems."

In 1947, just a year after Spencer's snack food serendipity, the first commercial microwave oven hit the market. Called the "Radarange," it weighed nearly 750 pounds and cost more than $2,000. Needless to say, it wasn't a big seller. The first domestic microwave was introduced in 1955, but it too failed to launch because it was expensive and because microwave technology was still an unknown. It wasn't until 1967, two decades after its invention, that the microwave oven finally caught on in American homes in the form of Amana's compact "Radarange." By 1975, a million microwaves were sold every year.


Kevlar and synthetic fibers

Nine years later, in 1965, Kwolek was trying to develop light, strong, rigid fibers to replace the steel wires used in car tires at the time. DuPont could see a gasoline shortage looming (it finally hit with a vengeance in 1973) and engineers thought a lighter, stronger material in tires could help improve cars' gas mileage. Kwolek's work day at the lab consisted mostly of dissolving long chains of molecules called polyamides -- the same type of synthetic polymer used to make materials like nylon -- and then running the solution through a machine that would spin it into fiber. At the time, the molecules DuPont was working with had to be melted at nearly 400 degrees Fahrenheit to be spun, and the heating made the fiber too weak and floppy for the job DuPont's engineers had in mind. Kwolek's job was to find a version that could be spun at lower temperatures.

Even Kwolek was surprised when a batch of dissolved polyamides produced a milky, runny liquid solution instead of the clear, syrup-thick solution she expected. But instead of throwing it out as a bad batch or rejecting that molecule as a nonstarter, the chemist whose mother had once told her she was too much a perfectionist decided to give the weird, cloudy solution a try. The result was the strongest, stiffest fiber anyone had seen so far. Today, most of us know it as Kevlar.


Lasers & Fiber Optics

In 1970, the goal of making single mode fibers with attenuation less then 20dB/km was reached by scientists at Corning Glass Works. This was achieved through doping silica glass with titanium. Also in 1970, Morton Panish and Izuo Hayashi of Bell Laboratories, along with a group from the Ioffe Physical Institute in Leningrad, demonstrated a semiconductor diode laser capable of emitting continuous waves at room temperature.

Military scientists have utilized laser technology for variety of military applications.

In 1973, Bell Laboratories developed a modified chemical vapor deposition process that heats chemical vapors and oxygen to form ultra-transparent glass that can be mass-produced into low-loss optical fiber. This process still remains the standard for fiber-optic cable manufacturing.

The first non-experimental fiber-optic link was installed by the Dorset (UK) police in 1975. Two years later, the first live telephone traffic through fiber optics occurs in Long Beach, California.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, telephone companies began to use fibers extensively to rebuild their communications infrastructure.


Brain-Computer Interface

brain–computer interface (BCI), sometimes called a neural-control interface (NCI), mind-machine interface (MMI), direct neural interface (DNI), or brain–machine interface (BMI), is a direct communication pathway between an enhanced or wired brain and an external device. BCI differs from neuromodulation in that it allows for bidirectional information flow. BCIs are often directed at researching, mapping, assisting, augmenting, or repairing human cognitive or sensory-motor functions.[1]

Research on BCIs began in the 1970s at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) under a grant from the National Science Foundation, followed by a contract from DARPA.[2][3] The papers published after this research also mark the first appearance of the expression brain–computer interface in scientific literature.

The field of BCI research and development has since focused primarily on neuroprosthetics applications that aim at restoring damaged hearing, sight and movement. Thanks to the remarkable cortical plasticity of the brain, signals from implanted prostheses can, after adaptation, be handled by the brain like natural sensor or effector channels.[4] Following years of animal experimentation, the first neuroprosthetic devices implanted in humans appeared in the mid-1990s.