Katie, Lauren, Yash, ZJ, &
weapons of mass
by atomic, rather than
byproducts by means
of either nuclear
fission or nuclear
History of the first atomic bombs
A great Danish physicist, Niel Bohr’s discovery of fission in early in 1939
made atomic bombs possible. After he announced this to the world, many
scientists became alarmed that Germany would try to create a Nazi atomic
bomb. Einstein wrote a letter to the president expressing these concerns.
Following this, Robert J. Oppenheimer held a study with some of the
brightest physicists at his University of California offices to explore the
possibility of developing an atomic bomb, work at Los Alamos began
(named the Manhattan project).
Recognizing that a supersonic shock wave created by high explosives could
be used to crush a ball of plutonium (to initiate a fission chain reaction),
Oppenheimer focused on the laboratory's efforts on developing a successful
method to implode plutonium. By early spring 1945, the design for the
implosion gadget was set. This new plutonium bomb, called Fat Man, was
such a radical departure from established technology. Doubts about its
success made necessary the test, codenamed Trinity, conducted in July
Although most of the work done at Los Alamos was centered on implosion development,
scientists continued to work on a uranium gum device, which was later on given the name
Little Boy. Uranium didn’t spark many problems, the scientist were confident in what they
had made, and a test would waste the huge source of Uranium that couldn’t be replaced
easily so a proof test wasn’t conducted.
Little Boy exploded over Hiroshima with a force of approximately fourteen kilotons on
August 6, 1945.
Fat Man exploded over Nagasaki with a force of twenty kilotons on August 9, 1945.
Countries with nuclear arsenal
The nuclear-weapon countries are the five countries—China, France,
Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States—officially recognized
as possessing nuclear weapons by the NPT (Nuclear Non Proliferation
Estimates of each nuclear-weapon state’s nuclear holdings, including both strategic
warheads (the forward section of a self-propelled missile, bomb, torpedo, or the
like, containing the explosive, chemical, or atomic charge.) and lower-yield
devices referred to as tactical weapons:
China: 100-200 warheads.
France: Approximately 350 strategic warheads.
Russia: 4,237 strategic warheads, approximately 2,000-3,000 operational
tactical warheads, and approximately 8,000-10,000 stockpiled strategic and
United Kingdom: Less than 160 deployed strategic warheads.
United States: 5,914 strategic warheads, approximately 1,000 operational
tactical operational tactical weapons, and approximately 3,000 reserve strategic
and tactical warheads.
India, Israel, and Pakistan—never joined
the NPT and are known to possess
How does it work?
There are two ways to make atomic
bombs. Through “fusion” and “fission”.
Fusion is the process in which two of the
same element, (usually hydrogen) are
combined. In this process, a neutron is lost
and this creates an explosion.
Fission is the process in which one
element, (usually uranium 235) is split into
two smaller fragments.
The energy is formed in one of three ways.
Through either radioactive decay, fusion,
or fission. Energy is released from the
atomic nucleus of the element used.
E=mc2 is the formula used to calculate the
amount of energy given off or created in
•Elements that are used in Atomic weapons
include Uranium 235 and 238, Hydrogen -
Tritium and Deuterium and Amercium.
•Amercium is used more for “dirty bombs”. It is
a more discrete element that is very sensitive.
Fusion Bomb test site
Process of Fusion
• The process of fusion “fuses” two atoms together and produces a stronger
atomic nucleus who’s mass is shown in the form of kinetic energy.
1. Fission bomb is primary device that has an inward
explosion that gives off X-rays.
2. These X-rays give off heat inside the bomb which
causes the tamper to dissolve and create pressure and
shockwaves are initiated form the fission rod.
3. The rod gives off heat and neutrons that
create tritium and deuterium(fuel for reaction) which
cause a reaction that makes more radiation and
4. Thus creating the explosion.
The sun also uses nuclear fusion - the
heat / light / and mild radiation are
products of the fusion that is going on
inside the sun.
Elements Capable of Fusion
Hydrogen - isotopes Protium, Deuterium, and
Helium 3 and 4
Problems with Fusion
Deuterium and Tritium are hard to store.
Tritium is in short supply.
Both have to be highly compressed at high
temps in order to start reactions.
H Bombs vs. A Bombs
Hydrogen Bombs Atomic Bombs
– Gets energy from – Gets energy from the
nuclear fusion of fission (splitting) of
hydrogen isotopes heavy nuclei
– Use limited to testing – Deployed in WWII on
and not in combat Hiroshima and
– First produced in the Nagasaki
United States – First produced in the
– Composed with an United States
Atomic Bomb at its – Used singularly for
core to initiate mass destruction
Dirty bomb is a warhead
that uses conventional
chemical explosives to
– Radiation sickness
– Contamination of
•Radiation sickness is the food supplies
harmful effect produced on body – Contamination of
tissues by exposure to water supplies
Effects of a Nuclear Bomb
• From where the bomb
explodes to 3 miles away
everything within this
radius would immediately
•A second radius extending
to ¾ mile would collapse
•A final circle with a
distance of about 1.5
miles would be consumed
with fires and fatal
Effects of a Nuclear Bomb cont.
High energy gamma rays strip electrons
from atoms in the air creating electric
( electromagnetic pulse) This pulse alone
would be powerful enough to destroy
virtually every electrical device.
The explosion also leads to the emission
of ionizing radiation
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
•Two Atomic bombs were dropped on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and
9th of 1945
•Killed 150,000 -220,000 from burns
building collapses and radioactivity .
•Radioactive poison remained in the air for
many years afterward killing thousands
History of Nuclear
How Fission and Fusion
Effects of Nuclear