Against a backdrop of desert solitude and scorched landscapes, a new millennium in human history is about to start in July 1945. The war is in its final, terrible phase.
Germany has surrendered but Japan will fight to the bitter end, costing possibly a half-million casualties. In the New Mexico desert, a group of young physicists; hand-picked and led by the brilliant, complex J. Robert Oppenheimer; have labored furiously in a race against Hitler to develop the world's first atomic bomb. Now, in the hours before the test explosion, they are confronted with the moral crisis of its inevitable use on Japanese citizens.