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Saturday, February 01, 2014

The Rose Bud Cloud

There does not seem to be an accurate account why J. Robert Oppenheimer named the first atomic bomb test Trinity.

I think it was a name heavily influenced by fleeting memories of the sailboat he had as a teenager, and which he named Trimethy.

Trimethy comes from the organic molecule trimethylamine which can have a strong odor of fish, sometimes described as a rotting fish odor. The methyl group is a carbon atom bonded to three hydrogen atoms: CH3.
Trimethylamine has three (tri-) of these methyls grouped with one nitrogen:  N(CH3)3.

It is described as a nucleophile... interestingly enough.


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