What is the difference between a hydrogen bomb and an atomic bomb?
Atom bombs work by the principle of atomic fission (splitting large atomic nuclei), while hydrogen bombs work by atomic fusion (combining small atomic nuclei). The hydrogen bomb is hundreds or thousands of times more powerful than the atom bomb. The hydrogen bomb uses an atom bomb as a trigger.
The term "atomic bomb" is a general term that can be applied to any nuclear weapon. What kind of weapons are there and where does the hydrogen bomb fit in?
There are fission devices (the "regular" atomic bomb), fission-fusion devices (the clean hydrogen bomb) and fission-fusion-fission devices (the dirty hydrogen bomb).
In the atomic bomb (fission device), uranium or plutonium is forced into a "critical mass", causing the atoms of the element to fission or "split" into the smaller atoms of other elements. When they split, they give off neutrons that split even more of the atoms (i.e. chain reaction). Each atom gives off a tremendous amount of energy as a tiny fraction of its matter is converted.
In the clean hydrogen bomb (fission-fusion device), the heat given off by a fission explosion is directed at a container of fusible hydrogen (deuterium and/or tritium). The heat and pressure causes the hydrogen to fuse into helium, the same process that takes place in the Sun and stars. This reaction produces an incredible amount of energy, because again a tiny amount of matter from each atom is converted.
In the dirty hydrogen bomb (fission-fusion-fission device), the energetic neutrons from the fusion explosion are so numerous that a casing of "ordinary" uranium (mostly U-238) will also fission, creating a fantastic amount of energy (up to 90% of the total yield of the bomb can be from this fission). Thicker casings or additional stages could theoretically create massive bombs 1000 times the power of fission bombs. The largest bomb ever tested, the 50-megaton "Tsar Bomba" of the Soviet Union, was built with this design (three stage design: fission primary, fusion secondary, fusion tertiary). If it had used actual uranium around the third stage, it could have yielded 100 megatons or more. However, the fallout from such a bomb would be large and widespread, risking contamination of areas far beyond the target. In the configuration tested, the "Tsar Bomba" was actually the cleanest nuclear bomb ever detonated (in terms of amount of fallout per kiloton of yield), even though it produced more total fallout than any other nuclear bomb ever detonated (because of the very high yield).
The design used by modern weapons was created by the physicists
Edward Teller and Stanislaw Ulam in 1951.
The "Hydrogen" bomb refers to the "Fusion" of a Hydrogen Isotope on an Atomic scale by way of steps of multiple reactions thus yielding a much more powerful explosion upwards of 500 Million Tons of TNT. It is also known as "ThermoNuclear". The "Atom" or "A" bomb refers to the "Fission" or "Fusion" of Uranium or Plutonium in a single step reaction, rather than multiple steps,yielding an explosion.
There are many differences, one is that it is impossible to build a pure fission atomic bomb with a yield above 1 megaton (the largest tested was 500 kilotons, half the limit) while there is no limit on the yield that a hydrogen bomb can produce. The difference in mechanism is that an atomic bomb gets all of its yield from fission of heavy isotopes (e.g. plutonium-239, uranium-235, uranium-233) while a hydrogen bomb gets a…
The difference between an A-Bomb and H-Bomb is the energy reaction inside them, one of them is nuclear fusion and the other one is nuclear fission. A-Bombs contain a unstable nuclei such as Uranium 235, whiles H-Bombs contain light stable isotopes of hydrogen and sometimes helium. Nuclear fusion is the merging of atoms/particles, whilst nuclear fission is the splitting and break down of a big unstable nuclei.
You are confused, a nuclear bomb is a general name covering both "atomic bomb" and "hydrogen bomb". A hydrogen bomb is typically higher yield than an atomic bomb, although it is possible to design very small low yield hydrogen bombs for special purposes that have lower yield than "typical" atomic bombs. However for "typical" hydrogen bombs their yield is roughly 1000 times the yield of a "typical" atomic bomb.
A uranium bomb is an atomic bomb fueled by uranium-235 A plutonium bomb is an atomic bomb fueled by plutonium-239 A composite bomb is an atomic bomb fueled by both uranium-235 and plutonium-239 A wet bomb is a hydrogen bomb fueled by liquefied deuterium/tritium A dry bomb is a hydrogen bomb fueled by solid lithium deuteride
The atomic bomb was a pure fission device, utilsing compression of a sub-critical uranium (Little Boy) (or plutonium: the Fat Man nuclear weapon) to cause an explosion. The H-bomb is a 'hybrid' device utilising a 'primary' charge that is effectivly an atomic bomb but a 'secondary' charge is also used, a container of hydrogen (deuterium and/or tritium) which undergoes fusion due to the heat/pressure/neutrons released by the primary. Atom: pure fission H-bomb: fission/fusion hybrid
They are both general terms. The term "atomic bomb" can mean any nuclear weapon, either a fission weapon or a fusion weapon (the so-called hydrogen bomb). The term thermonuclear bomb is also used in general, but it usually excludes the fusion bombs. It should be noted, however, that it takes a fission bomb to generate the heat necessary to "set off" a fusion reaction and make a fusion bomb work.
Nuclear energy is, primarily, the controlled (or, in a bomb, the uncontrolled) release of binding energy (Strong Atomic Force) in the nucleus of an atom by the process of fission or fusion. All nuclear power plants and the Atomic bomb use fission. The Sun and the Hydrogen bomb use fusion1. Nuclear chemistry, on the other hand, is the interrelationship between electron fields of various atoms as they interact to form various compounds, releasing and/or absorbing…
An H-Bomb is 1000 times stronger than an atomic bomb. Atomic explosions are based on splitting atoms and is a fission explosion or fission bomb. The Hydrogen bomb (also called H-Bomb) is a Fusion reaction where atoms are forced together. Atomic bombs were used in World War II, Hydrogen bombs have been tested, but not used in war.
Gunpowder, TNT, C4 plastic explosive, nitroglycerin, etc. all release chemical energy that has nothing to do with the nuclei of the atoms in the chemicals. Any 'bomb' that makes an explosion with nuclear energy is a 'nuclear' bomb. The "Hydrogen Bomb" is one of them. So far, devices have been built and tested that use the atomic nucleus to make explosions in two different general ways: -- "fission" . . . the nuclear energy is…
A hydrogen bomb works by fusing hydrogen isotopes, the product weighing less than the initial hydrogen isotopes. The difference in weight is released in energy. Its the same way the sun works. An atom bomb works by splitting a fuel apart on the atomic level, like plutonium or enriched uranium. An H-bomb is a lot more powerful, in the mega ton range.
What is the difference between the nuclear reactions in a nuclear reactor and those in an atomic bomb?
An atomic bomb is a fission bomb, which uses a type of heavy radioactive metal (usually uranium 235 or plutonium 239). Neutrons split this metal up, resulting in a release of a lot of energy (this is what happens in nuclear power stations). A hydrogen bomb is a fusion bomb, which comes in two parts: a fission device (A-bomb) and a fuel cell composed of hydrogen. The fission device is detonated and the radiation fuses…
A Hydrogen bomb uses heavy Hydrogen or Deuterium to create a fusion chain reaction. Before that can happen however there needs to be a smaller fission explosion (atomic bomb). The radiation from this trigger explosion is directed into a hollow chamber like a bucket pointed at the atomic bomb, which contains Deuterium. Often there is a rod of Plutonium running the length of the bucket at the centre. This is designed to amplify the chain…
The hydrogen bomb had not been developed before the end of World War II and therefore, the H bomb did not have an impact on Japan. The two bombs dropped on Japan, effectively ending the wat, were atomic -- but not "thermonuclear," or hydrogen bombs. Simply put, atomic bombs split atoms apart; hydrogen bombs fuse atoms together and the energy released by a hydrogen bomb is about one thousand times greater than the energy released…