How do nuclear weapons work?

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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.
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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 Questions and Web Li

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 are nuclear weapons?

A nuclear weapon is any device which utilizes the power produced by either nuclear fission or fusion (mostly fission) to inflict damage upon some type of target. Almost all,

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

What weapon is a nuclear weapon?

actually nuclear weapons include all sorts of stuff like bombs,missiles and etc EDIT: A nuclear weapon is a bomb or missile which harnesses the power of nuclear fusion o

What are nuclear weapon?

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

Why do you have nuclear weapons?

Some of the countries have nuclear weapons because they use them asa defense mechanism. The nuclear weapons are intended to be usedwhenever there is a war.

Who can have nuclear weapons?

Israel, America, Russia, China... that's all i can think of on the top of my head. Others that are "internationally allowed" to have nuclear weapons (approved by IAEA) would

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

How does nuclear weapon works?

Fission or fusion. Oh well, guess I should probably explain basics of both: Fission: . Fusing system of weapon triggers. . Detonator(s) of explosive rapid assembly system

What is the chance of the uranium working to make the nuclear weapon?

The answer is impossible: we can use uranium in weapons but we can also use uranium in another very useful applications; it is a choice: aggressive countries as United States,

What can nuclear weapon do?

The effects of nuclear weapons range widely: . Blast . Thermal flash . Light flash (including UV) . X-rays . Gamma rays . Neutron rays . Firestorm . Windblown fallou