The decision to use the atomic bomb Written By:
Nuclear weapon design The Trinity test of the Manhattan Project was the first detonation of a nuclear weapon, which lead J. Robert Oppenheimer to recall verses from the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita: Weapons whose explosive output is exclusively from fission reactions are commonly referred to as atomic bombs or atom bombs abbreviated as A-bombs.
This has long been noted as something of a misnomeras their energy comes from the nucleus of the atom, just as it does with fusion weapons.
In fission weapons, a mass of fissile material enriched uranium or plutonium is forced into supercriticality —allowing an exponential growth of nuclear chain reactions —either by shooting one piece of sub-critical material into another the "gun" method or by compressing using explosive lenses a sub-critical sphere of material using chemical explosives to many times its original density the "implosion" method.
The latter approach is considered more sophisticated than the former, and only the latter approach can be used if the fissile material is plutonium. The amount of energy released by fission bombs can range from the equivalent of just under a ton to upwards oftons kilotons of TNT 4.
Many fission products are either highly radioactive but short-lived or moderately radioactive but long-livedand as such, they are a serious form of radioactive contamination if not fully contained. Fission products are the principal radioactive component of nuclear fallout.
The most commonly used fissile materials for nuclear weapons applications have been uranium and plutonium Less commonly used has been uranium Neptunium and some isotopes of americium may be usable for nuclear explosives as well, but it is not clear that this has ever been implemented, and their plausible use in nuclear weapons is a matter of dispute.
Thermonuclear weapon The basics of the Teller—Ulam design for a hydrogen bomb: The other basic type of nuclear weapon produces a large proportion of its energy in nuclear fusion reactions.
Such fusion weapons are generally referred to as thermonuclear weapons or more colloquially as hydrogen bombs abbreviated as H-bombsas they rely on fusion reactions between isotopes of hydrogen deuterium and tritium.
All such weapons derive a significant portion of their energy from fission reactions used to "trigger" fusion reactions, and fusion reactions can themselves trigger additional fission reactions.
Whether India has detonated a "true" multi-staged thermonuclear weapon is controversial. Almost all of the nuclear weapons deployed today use the thermonuclear design because it is more efficient. In the Teller-Ulam designwhich accounts for all multi-megaton yield hydrogen bombs, this is accomplished by placing a fission bomb and fusion fuel tritiumdeuteriumor lithium deuteride in proximity within a special, radiation-reflecting container.
When the fission bomb is detonated, gamma rays and X-rays emitted first compress the fusion fuel, then heat it to thermonuclear temperatures. The ensuing fusion reaction creates enormous numbers of high-speed neutronswhich can then induce fission in materials not normally prone to it, such as depleted uranium.
Each of these components is known as a "stage", with the fission bomb as the "primary" and the fusion capsule as the "secondary". In large, megaton-range hydrogen bombs, about half of the yield comes from the final fissioning of depleted uranium.
This technique can be used to construct thermonuclear weapons of arbitrarily large yield, in contrast to fission bombs, which are limited in their explosive force.
Most thermonuclear weapons are considerably smaller than this, due to practical constraints from missile warhead space and weight requirements. Other types Main articles: Boosted fission weaponNeutron bombRadiological warfareand Antimatter weapon There are other types of nuclear weapons as well. For example, a boosted fission weapon is a fission bomb that increases its explosive yield through a small number of fusion reactions, but it is not a fusion bomb.
In the boosted bomb, the neutrons produced by the fusion reactions serve primarily to increase the efficiency of the fission bomb. There are two types of boosted fission bomb: Some nuclear weapons are designed for special purposes; a neutron bomb is a thermonuclear weapon that yields a relatively small explosion but a relatively large amount of neutron radiation ; such a device could theoretically be used to cause massive casualties while leaving infrastructure mostly intact and creating a minimal amount of fallout.
The detonation of any nuclear weapon is accompanied by a blast of neutron radiation. Surrounding a nuclear weapon with suitable materials such as cobalt or gold creates a weapon known as a salted bomb.
This device can produce exceptionally large quantities of long-lived radioactive contamination.
decision to drop the bomb In recent years historians and policy analysts have questioned President Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan. . Photon Torpedo from original Star Trek (). This is basically an antimatter warhead. It was named "photon" because at the time it was believed that an antimatter explosion would be . A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission (fission bomb) or from a combination of fission and fusion reactions (thermonuclear bomb).Both bomb types release large quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first test of a fission ("atomic") bomb released an amount of energy approximately equal to.
It has been conjectured that such a device could serve as a "doomsday weapon" because such a large quantity of radioactivities with half-lives of decades, lifted into the stratosphere where winds would distribute it around the globe, would make all life on the planet extinct.
In connection with the Strategic Defense Initiativeresearch into the nuclear pumped laser was conducted under the DOD program Project Excalibur but this did not result in a working weapon.
The concept involves the tapping of the energy of an exploding nuclear bomb to power a single-shot laser which is directed at a distant target.When the customer isn’t right – for your business. One woman who frequently flew on Southwest, was constantly disappointed with every aspect of the company’s operation.
The Decision to Drop the Bomb. there was been an ongoing debate among historians as to which was the “real” motivation behind President Truman’s decision to use it on Japan.
Understanding the Decisions to Drop The Atomic Bomb - The death of thousands in a moment, this was the power of the weapon the United States held in their possession. Jonathan Fetter-Vorm's "Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb" traces the origins of atomic theory, the early work developing a working knowledge of critical mass, the Trinity test, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the early Cold War, all while telling the story through the framing device of Robert Oppenheimer preparing the Trinity test for July 16, Japan's military position was so poor that its leaders would likely have surrendered before invasion, and at roughly the same time in August , even if the United States had not employed strategic bombing or the atomic bomb.
The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb a the Architecture of an American Myth. N.Y.: Knopf, ; T.M. Huber, Okinawa.
N.Y.: Casemate Publications, No Other Choice: Why Truman Dropped the Atomic Bomb on Japan "Truman and his advisers made the only decision they could have made; indeed, considered in the context of World War II, it wasn’t.
Japan's military position was so poor that its leaders would likely have surrendered before invasion, and at roughly the same time in August , even if the United States had not employed strategic bombing or the atomic bomb.
"To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary.".
Jonathan Fetter-Vorm's "Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb" traces the origins of atomic theory, the early work developing a working knowledge of critical mass, the Trinity test, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the early Cold War, all while telling the story through the framing device of Robert Oppenheimer preparing the Trinity test for July 16,