The Atomic Testing Museum
in Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and is also the county seat of Clark County, Nevada. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous...
, documents the history of nuclear testing
Nuclear weapons tests are experiments carried out to determine the effectiveness, yield and explosive capability of nuclear weapons. Throughout the twentieth century, most nations that have developed nuclear weapons have tested them...
at the Nevada Test Site
The Nevada National Security Site , previously the Nevada Test Site , is a United States Department of Energy reservation located in southeastern Nye County, Nevada, about northwest of the city of Las Vegas...
(NTS) in the desert north of Las Vegas.
The museum opened in March 2005. It is located in Paradise, Nevada
Paradise is an unincorporated town in the Las Vegas metropolitan area in Clark County, Nevada, United States. The population was 223,167 at the 2010 census...
, a southern suburb of Las Vegas that is frequented by large numbers of tourists.
The museum covers the period from the first test at NTS on January 27, 1951 to the present. Among its exhibits covering American nuclear history is a "Ground Zero Theater" which simulates the experience of observing an atmospheric nuclear test. Other exhibits include Geiger counter
A Geiger counter, also called a Geiger–Müller counter, is a type of particle detector that measures ionizing radiation. They detect the emission of nuclear radiation: alpha particles, beta particles or gamma rays. A Geiger counter detects radiation by ionization produced in a low-pressure gas in a...
s, radio badges and radiation testing devices, Native American artifacts from around the test area, pop culture memorabilia related to the atomic age, equipment used in testing the devices. Other displays focus on important figures at the facility, videos and interactive exhibits about radiation.
The museum is operated by the Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in association with the Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...
. Some support comes from the purchase of commemorative Nevada Test Site license plates
issued by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
The weather station outside of the Atomic Testing Museum records weather data for downtown Las Vegas. The data include temperature, wind speed and background gamma radiation
Gamma radiation, also known as gamma rays or hyphenated as gamma-rays and denoted as γ, is electromagnetic radiation of high frequency . Gamma rays are usually naturally produced on Earth by decay of high energy states in atomic nuclei...
The roentgen is a unit of measurement for exposure to ionizing radiation , and is named after the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen...
per hour. The station is part of the Community Environmental Monitoring Network(CEMP).