Atomic bomb launched in Hiroshima, Japan

Atomic bomb

The operation of an atomic bomb is similar to the operation of a nuclear reactor, wherein the mass of fuel is well above the critical mass. Initially, the fuel is fragmented, and each of the pieces, enough from the others, so it untreated the critical size; Explosion occurs at closer fragments including sharply.

To increase the performance and efficiency of an atomic bomb to be used practically pure fuels; those used so far have been uranium-235 and plutonium-239. Uranium-235 is difficult and expensive to obtain, because it is not possible to chemically separate it from natural uranium and must resort to physical processes such as gaseous diffusion. Plutonium-239, which appears as a byproduct in natural uranium reactors, can be isolated by standard chemical procedures.

In the hydrogen bomb, the fusion of the nuclei of light atoms (hydrogen-2 and hydrogen commonly 3) shows a specific heat energy much greater than the atomic bombs. However, to start the fusion reaction are very high temperatures required, you commonly achieved by associating an atomic bomb in a hydrogen bomb.Contrary to the atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs do not pollute the place of explosion with radioactive materials.

Explosive power of the atomic bombs is measured by comparison with the removed by a mass of a million tons of TNT (megaton).

Historical Context of the atomic bomb

Following the discovery of fission in late 1938, a number of scientists are especially devoted to study this phenomenon. Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, Albert Einstein and others received (1939) the US government an initial credit to make a thorough investigation of nuclear energy.

Intervening Americans in World War II did significantly increase research budgets, making accelerated. On December 2, 1942 they managed to launch the first nuclear reactor with Enrico Fermi direct intervention, which was the basis of the first serious calculations of the energy that could be released in a nuclear bomb.

The work for the achievement of the first nuclear fission bomb were conducted at Los Alamos under the direction of Jacob Robert Oppenheimer named the Manhattan Project, and the test took place at Alamogordo (New Mexico) on July 16, 1945 . The fuel used was plutonium-239.

An atomic uranium-235 bomb was dropped on Hiroshima (Japan) on August 6, 1945. On August 9 thereof in a plutonium-239 bomb razed Nagasaki (Japan). Subsequently, the USSR (1949), United Kingdom (1952), France (1960) and the PRC (1965) tested and built its own nuclear bombs.

Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after the bomb dropped Little Boy The mushroom cloud created by the Fat Man bomb resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki

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Last review: November 20, 2014