What is the difference between a hydrogen bomb and an atomic bomb? How terrible is unlimited power? 

The atomic bomb, as one of the most lethal weapons in the world, has been a great deterrent since it was developed. Especially at the end of World War II, the United States launched three rounds of bombing on the Japanese mainland.

 In the third round of bombing, after dropping the atomic bombs “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” directly over Japan, it caused a devastating blow to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. , Until now, people keep the “terror” of the atomic bomb firmly in their hearts.

What is the difference between a hydrogen bomb and an atomic bomb? How terrible is unlimited power?
Fat Man

The sensational thing about the atomic bomb is the short-term and large-area lethality and the long-lasting radioactive pollution. It is a powerful weapon of mass destruction that can prevent the enemy’s military operations. Therefore, many countries want to develop atomic bombs. Ensure your homeland security.

However, just after the atomic bomb was developed, the United States conducted a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean in 1951. In 1953, the Soviet Union persevered and began to conduct hydrogen bomb tests, which finally exploded successfully.

The deterrent effect of the atomic bomb is already great. Why is it that humans are still not satisfied after having the atomic bomb? Scientists from all over the world are still persevering in developing the hydrogen bomb.

1. The essential difference between the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb To understand these issues, we must first know what is the essential difference between an atomic bomb and a hydrogen bomb.

Let’s first look at the principle of explosion between the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb.

General chemical explosives burn coal and oil, and then the chemical reactions produced by the combustion of elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon lead to huge lethality, but the atomic nuclei of these elements remain unchanged, and only the elements between them change.

The atomic bomb is not a chemical reaction but an atomic reaction, which changes the atomic combination of various elements and the nucleus. The explosion after nuclear fission will produce shock waves, radioactive elements, and other substances, and its power is many times greater than that of ordinary explosives.

Although the hydrogen bomb is also through atomic reaction, it is not as simple as the nuclear fission of the atomic bomb, but nuclear fission first and then nuclear fusion. Although both are nuclear weapons, they also produce photothermal radiation, shock waves and other radioactive elements, but the explosion principles of hydrogen bombs and atomic bombs are still different.

A significant amount of “start-up” energy is necessary to achieve nuclear fusion. Typically, nuclear fusion occurs in an environment with temperatures reaching 4,000 degrees Celsius. This is why a hydrogen bomb relies on the energy released by an atomic bomb explosion as a trigger. The detonation of an atomic bomb creates a highly intense and hot environment with high pressure, which sets the stage for nuclear fusion to take place.

Scientists have made significant progress in achieving nuclear fusion. This means that they can now ignite hydrogen isotopes like deuterium and tritium, resulting in a powerful thermonuclear reaction that releases tremendous amounts of energy.

The atomic bomb serves as a trigger for the hydrogen bomb, which is why we often refer to it as a “detonator.” The hydrogen bomb, also known as a second-generation atomic bomb, builds upon the explosive power of the atomic bomb.

 It is more powerful because it utilizes the energy released by the atomic bomb to generate an even greater explosion. In simple terms, the hydrogen bomb is like an upgraded version 2.0, surpassing the destructive force of the atomic bomb.

2. The atomic bomb has an upper limit, but the hydrogen bomb has no upper limit in theory

From the difference in principle, we can already see how different atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs are, and they are even more different in terms of power.

The power of an atomic bomb is probably equivalent to the power of an explosion of tens of thousands of tons of TNT, but the power of a hydrogen bomb can easily reach the explosion of several million tons of TNT explosives.

Moreover, the atomic bomb has a fatal shortcoming. When its neutron increment coefficient is greater than 1, it will self-destruct. There are many nuclear accidents because the nuclear reactor exceeds the critical value, so the nuclear fission material loaded in the atomic bomb is strictly controlled. After all, no one wants to explode and bring disaster to Chiyu.

This also directly leads to the situation that the power of the atomic bomb actually has an upper limit, and the existing human technology, in the case that the atomic bomb does not cause critical problems and causes self-explosion, human beings can only stop the explosive power of the atomic bomb at 8 The explosive volume of 100,000 tons of TNT explosives.

The power of “Little Boy” can reach the explosive volume of 14,000 tons of TNT explosives because it adopts a gun-type structure, uses the principle of guns firing bullets, and directly divides the nuclear charge in the standby state into two parts. time to unite again.

The problem of the critical value is the reason why the power of the atomic bomb and the power of the hydrogen bomb cannot compete at all. Human beings’ thirst for knowledge and innovative ability has never stopped. Once something has an upper limit, it will definitely be exceeded. In fact, after the atomic bomb was developed, the hydrogen bomb was developed soon.

In theory, hydrogen bombs have no upper limit to their power. At present, a hydrogen bomb with a power of 50 million tons has been tested. Generally, under the same basic structure, the power of a hydrogen bomb increases directly with its weight. Moreover, the nuclear elements required for its research and development have no critical value.

Also, because the power of the hydrogen bomb is too great and the storage requirements are relatively high, many countries decisively destroyed it by themselves after researching the hydrogen bomb. After all, in an era without war, it is not rational to keep hydrogen bombs in one’s own country to increase the unnecessary danger.

At present, China is the only country that retains hydrogen bombs because China has more advanced science and technology in this area and has developed a more stable environment for storing hydrogen bombs.

3. Comparison of the power of hydrogen bombs and atomic bombs after practice

As the saying goes, true knowledge comes from practice. If you want to know the power comparison between hydrogen bombs and atomic bombs, you still need to look at the specific explosion effects.

What is the difference between a hydrogen bomb and an atomic bomb? How terrible is unlimited power?
Little Boy

Let’s take the “Little Boy” dropped by the United States on Hiroshima as an example. The atomic bomb had an explosive equivalent of nearly 20,000 tons of TNT explosives at the time, but the actual explosive power was only about 14,000 tons.

But this has already caused Hiroshima to raise a mushroom cloud as high as 18,000 kilometers, and the nuclear radiation material in the mushroom cloud mixed with the water vapor in the cloud, causing black rain to fall directly in the Hiroshima area.

The blow that “Little Boy” brought to Hiroshima was almost devastating. More than 60% of the buildings in Hiroshima were reduced to ashes after the explosion of “Little Boy,” and the people of Hiroshima died 70,000 people at the scene of the explosion. “Nearly 120,000 people died in the four months after the bombing.

 And those who did not die on the spot could not escape the hazards of nuclear radiation. In the end, including those who died of nuclear radiation, the number has exceeded 200,000.

Let’s take a look at the power of the hydrogen bomb. The most powerful hydrogen bomb that has exploded so far is the Soviet Union’s “Great Ivan, ” commonly known as the Tsar Bomb.

The Soviet Union originally planned to explode a hydrogen bomb with 100 million tons of TNT. Still, it was afraid that the final power would be unbearable, so it directly cut the equivalent of 100 million tons of TNT by half, only 50 million tons. However, its power is still far more than the Soviet Union expected.

This mushroom cloud was much higher than the “little boy” and jumped directly to an altitude of 70,000 meters. The fighter jets 250 kilometers away felt strong turbulence, and the fuselage was directly burned into black burn marks.

Moreover, 400 kilometers from the explosion center, it was basically turned into ruins. It still had a strong deterrent effect on buildings 800 kilometers away, and all the buildings’ glass was shattered.

As for Xindi Island, where the explosion took place, the permafrost more than two meters deep was directly melted by the high temperature, and none of the creatures on the island survived. After calculation, the power of the hydrogen bomb “Big Ivan” is 3864 times that of the atomic bomb “Little Boy.”

The technical research of modern weapons is getting more and more advanced. I hope that weapons will be used one day to protect peace, not destroy peace!