The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque is the only museum congressionally chartered in the history of the Atomic Age. Exhibits explore the development of nuclear technology and the various uses of nuclear energy today.
The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History was founded in 1963 as a center for the education of nuclear weapons and technology. Finding a home on Kirtland Airforce Base, the museum opened in 1969. A few years later the museum was named National Atomic Museum and was recognized in 1973 as the only public museum leading efforts to preserve the history of atomic energy and the nuclear industry.
After the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, the museum was forced to close, but was reopened in May of 2002 in a rented location in Old Town. In April of 2009, the National Atomic Museum found a permanent home in Southeast Albuquerque and was renamed The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. The museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
The Museum is open daily from 9am-5pm and admission fees do apply for visitors over 5 years of age.
The permanent exhibits at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History educate visitors on the past, present, and future capabilities of atomic science including atomic theory, political issues that lead to World War II, Cold War, and nuclear medicine. The museum also has online archives of past and present exhibits for those unable to visit the museum in person. Rentable exhibits are also available for offsite groups and presentations.
Critical Assembly, the Secrets of Los Alamos 1944: An Installation by Jim Sanborn- This exhibit takes visitors back to 1944 where they can study recreations of the Manhattan Project atomic bomb and learn about the laboratory experiments that were instrumental in the development of this weapon.
Heritage Park- This outdoor exhibit features airplanes, rockets, missiles, cannons, and a nuclear sub sail across 9 acres of outdoor space. This is one of the most visited attractions at the museum and includes the largest aircraft collection available to the public in New Mexico. Planes on display include the B-29 Superfortress, B-52B Stratofortress, A-7 Corsair II, and many others.
Nuclear Medicine- The history of nuclear medicine and technology is explored in this exhibit that demonstrates how radioactive materials can help to diagnose and treat diseases.
Nano- Hands on exploration is encouraged Nano where visitors will learn about the science they cannot see and how nanotechnology is changing the world. Visitors can build a carbon Nanotube.
Nuclear Waste Transportation- Learn how nuclear waste is managed safely and environmental regulations that ensure that radioactive waste is handled safely.
Energy Encounter- Visitors can learn about the green energy options available for homes and businesses including solar and wind energy, and what place nuclear energy has in the future of energy production.
Uranium, Enriching the Future- Interactive exhibits allow visitors to explore the way nuclear power has evolved and the enrichment process that uranium goes through to provide clean energy at the 100 nuclear plants in America.
Radiation 101- Education on the basic principles of radiation and what it is used for is showcased in this exhibit.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki- Visitors will learn the devastating effects that the atomic bomb had on these cities in Japan during World War II.
Cold War- The nuclear arms race and history of the cold war between the USSR and United States is discussed in this exhibit that follows the history of nuclear arms from 1950-1990’s.
Atomic Culture/Pop Culture- Visitors are immersed in the cultural items relevant to the atomic age including comic books, posters, propaganda and art.
Little Alberts lab- Children learn about physics and Albert Einstein in this interactive exhibit area.
Decision to Drop- This exhibit follows history from the Manhattan Project through the Cold War and explains the issues that lead to the dropping of the first atom bomb as well as life in the 1940’s.
Pioneers of the Atom- Visitors to this exhibit will learn about the scientists and researchers involved in the making of the atomic bomb and nuclear energy.
The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History offers many educational programs to expand on the knowledge and history of nuclear energy and sciences. Camps are offered during winter, spring and summer breaks for children in grade school that educates on subjects related to robotics, forensics, engineering, and many other sciences. Teachers can access resources through the website that will increase engagement in the exhibits at the museum such as scavenger hunts, and programs during Nuclear Science Week and STEM week. There are also programs for students age 5-15 that are homeschooled during the school year.
601 Eubank, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87123, website, Phone: 505-245-2137
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