The British Government carried out testing of nuclear bombs in outback South Australia during the 1950s and 1960s. Many of these tests were conducted at Maralinga. This specimen is a sample of atomic glass formed during these tests.

Glass forms when a molten material cools rapidly enough that crystals do not have time to form. Nuclear explosions produce temperatures that melt their surroundings. This molten material then cools so rapidly crystals do not have time to form, producing glass. This glass from Maralinga has a "frothy" top layer due to gas bubbles trapped when it solidified and a sandy bottom layer consisting of sand particles that adhered to the bottom of the glass.

Specimen Details

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