Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer

This circular slide rule describes the effects of a nuclear explosion on people. After World War II, scientists at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory prepared a report on forms of damage associated with the explosion of atomic bombs. These included physical damage, fire and heat, and nuclear radiation.
With the development of the more powerful hydrogen bomb, physical chemist Samuel Glasstone and his associates prepared an updated report, and published it under the title The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. This information was distributed for use in planning against possible nuclear attack.
From 1962 onward, copies of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons had a pocket containing a Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer. Setting the indices on the front of the instrument for the yield of a nuclear bomb in megatons and the distance of its explosion in miles, scales on the front of the instrument describe changes in atmospheric pressure and winds associated with the blast, as well as cratering and the velocity of window glass.
Charts on the back indicate the initial nuclear radiation and the thermal radiation. Tables indicate the probable medical effects of various doses of radiation, from no illness to severe burns to death. The Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer was developed at the Lovelace Foundation in Albuqueque, New Mexico, for the United States Atomic Energy Commission.
Currently not on view
Date made
date received
Lovelace Foundation
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (part material)
paper (case material)
overall: .2 cm x 13.2 cm x 14 cm; 1/16 in x 5 3/16 in x 5 1/2 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Clayton S. White
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History