Nuclear weapons

Article

October 17, 2021

A nuclear weapon or a nuclear weapon ("nuclear weapon") is a weapon with enormous and destructive forces that release energy from nuclear reactions. A single nuclear weapon can destroy an entire city, as was proven during World War II, when the United States bombed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. These are the only times nuclear weapons have been used in war, but a large number of nuclear tests have been implemented by several countries. Nuclear weapons are divided into two main classes: based on demerger or merger. The explosive power of nuclear weapons is stated in the unit «kilotons» (thousand tonnes tnt), meaning how many kilotons of TNT (conventionally explosive) would theoretically give the same explosive power. The first nuclear explosion was tested in New Mexico, USA, on July 16, 1945. The known nuclear powers are (chronologically according to years before the first test blast) the United States, Russia, Great Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan and North Korea. In addition, it is believed that Israel has nuclear weapons, although the country neither confirms nor denies this.

Weapon types

Nuclear weapons are divided into two main classes: fission weapons and fusion weapons.

Fission weapon

Fission weapons utilize the energy from a fission (decomposition) of heavy atomic nuclei (uranium or plutonium), where they are decomposed into smaller units when they absorb neutrons. The fission produces several neutrons, which in turn can be absorbed by other atomic nuclei (a nuclear chain reaction). The fission bombs were previously referred to as "nuclear weapons" in the technical language and are still referred to as this in everyday speech. This should be avoided since it is professionally misleading, in that the reactions take place in the atomic nuclei themselves (not in the atoms).

Fusion Weapons

Fusion weapons release energy by fusing (fusing) light atomic nuclei, most often hydrogen. These weapons are also called thermonuclear weapons (because extremely high temperatures are required for fusion to take place). A nickname for fusion weapons is also "hydrogen bombs". So-called neutron bombs are a variant of the fusion weapon. The weapon is designed to create penetrating and deadly neutrons, while reducing other effects (including fission and explosive power).

History

Research on nuclear weapons came as a result of Albert Einstein's discovery of the connection between mass and energy and arose after the outbreak of World War II. The Manhattan Project, a secret, large-scale research project in the United States to develop nuclear weapons, was started in 1942. The project culminated in the first test blast in the Alamogordo Desert in New Mexico, USA on July 16, 1945.

The nuclear arms race

The overview shows some important dates for some important events in the nuclear race between the United States and NATO in particular on the one hand, and the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact on the other. 194516 July: The first nuclear test explosion in New Mexico, USA. August 6: US uses nuclear weapons for war for the first time and drops a bomb on Hiroshima in Japan. August 9 - The United States' second nuclear weapon is released over Nagasaki, Japan January 24: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is established on the initiative of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The United States' fourth nuclear explosion occurred on the Pacific island of Bikini.194929. August: The Soviet Union's first nuclear test. The United States is using bombers (B-50 and B-36) that can carry nuclear weapons from the United States to the Soviet Union. Similar aircraft are deployed in the United Kingdom.19523. October: Britain's first nuclear test. November 1: US first test explosion of thermonuclear weapons.195312. August: The Soviet Union's first test of thermonuclear weapons.1954The Soviet Union uses bombers with the same strategic warfare capabilities as the US.1955The Soviet Union launches SS-3 medium-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.1956The Soviet Union deployed

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