How Kodak Exposed The Atomic Bomb

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How Kodak Exposed The Atomic Bomb

Instructional Resource

Kodak detected the first atomic bomb before anyone else figured it out. Then they made a deal not to tell anyone. Thanks to HBO Max, and their new show raised by Wolves for sponsoring this video!

Thanks to Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail for the opening clip:


Albuquerque Tribune Bulletin, July 16, 1945 –

Webb, J. H. (1949). The fogging of photographic film by radioactive contaminants in cardboard packaging materials. Physical Review, 76(3), 375.

Julian Webb at Oak Ridge – Snavely, B. B. (1989). Julian H. Webb. PhT, 42(7), 87.

Radium in watch dials –

A 1958 video about how Kodak film is made, noting the careful monitoring of radioactive contaminants –

Radioactive fallout in 1951 -

1998 senate hearing –

Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 1999. Exposure of the American People to Iodine-131 from Nevada Nuclear-Bomb Tests: Review of the National Cancer Institute Report and Public Health Implications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Baby Teeth Survey – Reiss, L. Z. (1961). Strontium-90 absorption by deciduous teeth. Science, 134(3491), 1669-1673.

Strontium 90 and Cancer rates – Gould, J. M., Sternglass, E. J., Sherman, J. D., Brown, J., McDonnell, W., & Mangano, J. J. (2000). Strontium-90 in deciduous teeth as a factor in early childhood cancer. International Journal of Health Services, 30(3), 515-539.

Wine forensics – Hubert, P., Perrot, F., Gaye, J., Médina, B., & Pravikoff, M. S. (2009). Radioactivity measurements applied to the dating and authentication of old wines. Comptes Rendus Physique, 10(7), 622–629. doi:10.1016/j.crhy.2009.08.007

Strontium 90 in forensics – Maclaughlin-Black, S. M., Herd, R. J., Willson, K., Myers, M., & West, I. E. (1992). Strontium-90 as an indicator of time since death: a pilot investigation. Forensic science international, 57(1), 51-56.

Research and Writing by Derek Muller, Petr Lebedev, and Jonny Hyman

Filmed and edited by Derek Muller

Animations by Iván Tello and Jonny Hyman

Music by Jonny Hyman

Additional Music from:

Epidemic Sound "Seaweed"

Kevin MacLeod "Lightless dawn"

Craig Conrad "ASTRAL"

Dr. Derek Muller