Video: What Energy Dept. Scientists Can Learn from Movies of Cold War-Era Bomb Tests

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Thousands of film reels are now in dire need of preservation.

On July 16, 1945, the United States tested the first atomic bomb. Since then, hundreds of atomic bombs have been detonated in the atmosphere and recorded on high-speed cameras for analysis. 

Those thousands of film reels are now in dire need of preservation. Many have already turned to dust. Not only are the reels important historical artifacts -- the U.S. no longer tests nuclear bombs -- but they contain some of best data that scientists now have.

Greg Spriggs, a nuclear physicist at the Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is working to scan and analyze the film before it's too late. Using a Swedish film scanner and computer models, Spriggs is learning everything there is to know about the impact of a nuclear bomb.

To learn more, check out the video below from Wired

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