© Science Museum/Science and Society Picture Library
This porcelain bowl was found among the ruins of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb explosion on 6 August 1945. It is a typical piece of Japanese tableware, used for pickles and chutneys. The heat of the nuclear explosion caused the glaze of the bowl to melt, and it has fragments of brick and other pottery embedded in it. The family which used the bowl would have been obliterated by the blast; over 78,000 people were killed immediately and a further 50,000 were to die soon afterwards. A second bomb was dropped three days later, on Nagasaki, which killed at least 60,000 people.