Many museums have explored the history of nuclear science, technology, and politics. These museums vary greatly in geographical location, size, and scope. Some are dedicated solely to the historic preservation and interpretation of some aspect of the atomic age. Others have different areas of specialty but have chosen to feature nuclear history as it relates to their primary topic. One thing these diverse institutions do share, however, is the goal of engaging the public with this complex and polarizing history.
Could any country with the right knowledge and technology build a nuclear bomb? From May 1964 to April 1967, the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (the predecessor to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) set out to answer this question. The Laboratory hired three physicists who only recently received their Ph.Ds in physics to design a nuclear bomb. D.A. Dobson, D.N. Pipkorn, and R.W. Selden had little to no experience with nuclear physics.
The election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980 saw the return of heightened Cold War tensions after a period of détente during the previous decade. The zenith of this escalation arguably came in 1983, when a NATO training exercise almost prompted nuclear war.