What would you like to do?

How do nuclear weapons work?

already exists.

Would you like to merge this question into it?

already exists as an alternate of this question.

Would you like to make it the primary and merge this question into it?

exists and is an alternate of .

I suggest reading Richard Rhodes books: The Making of the Atomic Bomb and Dark Sun.


Wikipedia also contains good explanations.

There are a number of different types that operate by different principles:
  1. Fission: splitting large unstable atoms into smaller ones with neutron chain reaction.
    1. Gun design, always uses Uranium, fires a bullet and target together with cordite down a cannon barrel to assemble a supercritical mass followed by a pulse of neutrons to start the chain reaction.
    2. Implosion design, can use Plutonium, Uranium, or a composite of both, shaped charge high explosives crush this core to assemble a supercritical mass followed by a pulse of neutrons to start the chain reaction.
  2. Fusion: joining small atoms into larger ones at high temperature and pressure. Note that pure fusion bombs (with no fission component at all have never been built).
  3. Mixed Fission-Fusion: most modern bombs use some mixture of the reactions to optimize the weapon for the mission, the delivery vehicle, and production costs.
  • Fusion boosted low yield tactical fission weapon. These use a small amount of tritium gas inside the fission core to boost efficiency of a tiny low yield core with extra neutrons from the tritium fusion.
  • Multi-stage high yield fusion weapons. These even raise yield by fissioning the normally nonfissionable Uranium-238 isotope with high energy fusion neutrons.
  • etc.
Thanks for the feedback!

Who have nuclear weapons?

Confirmed nuclear states: (In order of Nuclear Power) NPT States UK 1,000,000,000 and the super secret lemon party bomb Russia 3,800 USA 2,150 France 1,000 China 7

Are nuclear weapons considered nuclear power?

Yes. Project Orion from the mid 1950s until 1963 worked on using nuclear explosives to propel a payload from earth's surface to orbit. By cancelation in 1963 (due to Atmosp

Why is nuclear weapon a social problem?

The threat of nuclear war has become a symbol for the stresses and problems of living in the modern age that are often complex, insidious, and over which the average citizen o

Why should nuclear weapons be banned?

Hey guys who read up on this question.  Can I ask for some help with this question?  I am doing a debate in my high school class. And I am on the AFF (Affirmative side) Mean

What are nuclear weapon?

Nuclear weapons are weapons which are fueled by nuclear energy.  Examples of weapons that can be fueled by nuclear energy are  missile warheads and bombs.

What if nuclear weapons were the only weapons?

The man has fists to hit,the legs to kick ,stone,knife,gun,M-16,missel and,of course,the nuclear weapons,all of these are defense for safety of life ,after the safety that wil

Who invented nuclear weapons?

Leo Szilard in 1933, patented in 1934 as Great Britain # 630,726. Then it took the work of thousands off people to transform the invention into a workable device in 1945.

Does France have nuclear weapons?

Yes, France is a minor nuclear power along with the UK. France currently has about 250 nukes. The U.K has about 200.

What is a nuclear weapon?

Answer   It is a bomb or explosive that relies on either nuclear fission or nuclear fusion to release a tremendous amount of energy.    See the Related Question

What is nuclear weapon?

An explosive device that uses massive conventional explosives to split radioactive atoms and cause a MASSIVE release of energy by nuclear fission or fusion.   A BIG BOOM!!!

What weapon was used for the first nuclear weapon?

fatman, little boy and trinity they are nuclear bombs used on japan (exept trinity) at the end of the second world war.

Why should nuclear weapons be abolished?

This would be impossible as the basic physics of the designs of fission bombs is well documented in the open literature. Any competent physics grad student could design a medi

How big is a nuclear weapon?

How big do you want it to be? There are 4 inch nuclear howitzer shellsThe Davy Crocket dial-a-yield tactical jeep transported warhead was a 12 inch sphereTypical modern ICBM