Ernest Rutherford and Hans Geiger discover the atom has a nucleus

The Story

Early in the 20th century, while delving into the secrets of nature, a small group of friends was torn apart and ended up on opposite sides of the largest conflict in history. Each side was armed with knowledge so dangerous, that now these same few individuals could either send civilization into the dark night of fascist domination — or save the world.

The story begins as the small community of physicists in Europe makes a series of startling discoveries about the mysterious atom. A close-knit group of quirky geniuses, they pursue the secrets of nature purely for the love of science.

But as Hitler rises to power in Europe, he imposes his anti-Semitic laws and tears the physics community apart. Swept out of their ivory towers by the increasingly dire political situation, the friends still struggle to keep their scientific world intact. But just as they make the most dangerous discovery of all — nuclear fission — Europe explodes into World War II.

Suddenly the scientists find themselves taking sides. Half of them disappear into the darkness of Nazi Germany. The others make their way to America, carrying with them a desperate warning: fission might be used to make an atomic bomb. And their former friends, some of the best scientists in the world, are working for Adolf Hitler.

Finally convincing the U.S. government to take action, the scientists are reunited once again at Los Alamos, the secret government laboratory in New Mexico. There behind barbed-wire fences they work relentlessly trying to beat Hitler to the bomb. But they become so obsessed with the fantastic scientific challenge that when Germany is defeated, they lose sight of their original purpose and are focused entirely on making their “gadget” work. They test the first atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert, ushering in the atomic age, only then realizing that they have changed the world forever.

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