CHICAGO (AP) — The scientists who created the atomic bomb were awed and frightened by the power they had unleashed. So they created a symbol to warn the world of nuclear confrontation.
That symbol, the Doomsday Clock, turns 75 this month, reported The Chicago Tribune.
The scientists commissioned artist Martyl Langsdorf to create an image that would “frighten men into rationality,” according to Eugene Rabinowitch, the first editor of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Langsdorf developed a stripped-down clock to reflect urgency. Only the hours in the last quarter before midnight are identified on the face. Her decision to put the minute hand at seven minutes before 12 was a visual, not a geopolitical one.
But Rabinowitch moved the hand to three minutes to in 1949. Since then, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has annually announced if the Doomsday Clock's minute hand has moved closer to or away from 12, marking disaster.
Thursday marks this year's announcement, with the minute hand just 100 seconds before midnight.