Best Answer

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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โˆ™ 2012-02-27 06:43:32
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Q: How do nuclear weapons work?
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Related questions

What type of training school should one have to work with nuclear weapons?

The US military has Special Weapons Schools where you learn how to operate, maintain, etc. nuclear weapons.

What weapons are considered nuclear weapons?

Those that are nuclear, such as the nuclear bombs.

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.

Who gave nuclear weapon to US?

Nobody, the US was the first country to work out how to actually make nuclear weapons.

Where are nuclear weapons found?

In nuclear weapons depots.

Does Zambia have nuclear weapons?

Zambia does not have nuclear weapons.

How are nuclear weapons destroyed?

The only way that how are nuclear weapons are destroyed that these anti-nuclear working group stay together and work together to get these powerful nuclear weapons destroyed. It's possible to destroy nuclear weapons but it is a very hard and dangerous job. Want to know how nuclear weapons are destroyed? These people work as a team by staying together, they also disable nuclear missile launching systems to prevent the nuclear weapons from being launched. They work very carefully to make sure that the nuclear weapon cannot make wide explosions. They destroy the missile very carefully so that the missile cannot make very huge nuke explosion. They also stop nuclear bombs from being dropped by making sure that the bomb is destroyed but they have to place something to destroy the nuclear bomb and they must be very careful because nuclear missiles and nuclear bombs are very powerful. There should be a time bomb to destroy these weapons and don't let these weapons create big explosions. If there is then they place the time bomb on nuclear weapon, they also have to move very far away from the weapon to make sure that they are safe and can't get killed. To destroy nuclear weapons, these nukes have to be sent very far away from the city or from the town so people can't get killed by the nukes.

What was nuclear deterrence or mutual destruction?

nuclear deterrence - the idea that if you attack me with nuclear weapons then I will attack you back with nuclear weaponsmutual assured destruction - the idea that if you attack me with nuclear weapons then I will totally destroy you with nuclear weapons and if I attack you with nuclear weapons then you will totally destroy me with nuclear weapons - thus any nuclear attack by either party will result in the certain destruction of both parties

Does Japan have nuclear weapons?

Japan doesn't want any nuclear weapons.But Japan can easily produce nuclear weapons if it wanted to. It has the technology to build nuclear weapons within 1 year-- probably a few months if it wanted.However, most Japanese people are against nuclear weapons. Therefore, they do not have nuclear weapons.

Does Canada have nuclear weapons?

No, Canada does not have any nuclear weapons.

Are nukes really nuclear weapons?

Yes, they are nuclear weapons.

Why do you have nuclear weapons?

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

Did the US use non nuclear weapons against japan?

the u.s. used non nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons against japan

What is the definition of the DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex?

All the facilities used by the US to prepare the materials for nuclear weapons, build nuclear weapons, design and test new nuclear weapons. This is all lead by the Department Of Energy.

What Arab countries have nuclear weapons?

Pakistan has about 100 nuclear weapons.

Did they use nuclear weapons in the holocaust?

No, Nazi Germany had no nuclear weapons.

What is the proliferation of the nuclear weapons?

In the most basic sense, proliferation of nuclear weapons is the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons usable technology in the world. In a much broader sense, it refers to the acquiring of capability to produce nuclear weapons, or weapons-grade nuclear material (high-enriched uranium, plutonium) by states previously not possessing them.

Does Romania have nuclear weapons?

Romania does have nuclear reactors that are used for supplying power, but they do not possess any known nuclear weapons.

Does Egypt have nuclear weapons?

Egypt is not believed or suspected to have nuclear weapons, or a nuclear weapons program, at this time (May 2009). See Related Link for a discussion of the world's nuclear powers.

Element used in an explosive ingredient in nuclear weapons?

The radioactive elements plutonium or uranium are the elements that are used in nuclear weapons that create nuclear fission. Isotopes of hydrogen are used in nuclear weapons that create nuclear fusion.

Why doesn't the US use nuclear weapons?

Although US agreed several arms agreements banning use of nuclear weapons, USA DOES use nuclear weapons and in fact, US is the ONLY nation to have used nuclear weapons in war.

Have any nuclear weapons been launched in the Pakistan war?

No nuclear weapons used after they are tested. And since after testing the nuclear weapons, there is no war on Pakistan soil.

Is nuclear weapons evil?

NO! Nuclear weapons don't make and detonate themselves

Indian rank in nuclear weapons in world?

fifth rank in nuclear weapons

Why does Afghanistan want nuclear weapons?

Afghanistan has not argued that it wants nuclear weapons.