IAS Score

Hydrogen Bomb

Hydrogen Bomb

• Atom bombs release energy by fission, or breaking apart, of heavy atomic nuclei like uranium and plutonium, while A hydrogen bomb releases energy by fusing together light nuclei like tritium or  deuterium, converting even more matter into energy.

• Fusion powers the Sun and stars as hydrogen atoms fuse together to form helium, and matter is converted into energy. Hydrogen, heated to very high temperatures changes from a gas to a plasma in which the negatively-charged electrons are separated from the positively-charged atomic nuclei (ions). Normally, fusion is not possible because the strongly repulsive electrostatic forces between the positively charged nuclei prevent them from getting close enough together to collide and for fusion to occur. However, if the conditions are such that the nuclei can overcome the electrostatic forces to the extent that they can come within a very close range of each other, then the attractive nuclear force (which binds protons and neutrons together in atomic nuclei) between the nuclei will outweigh the repulsive (electrostatic) force, allowing the nuclei to fuse together. Such conditions can occur when the temperature increases, causing the ions to move faster and eventually reach speeds high enough to bring the ions close enough together. The nuclei can then fuse, causing a release of energy.

Basics of Hydrogen Bomb
• First, the stages of the weapon are separated into a triggering, primary explosive and a much more powerful secondary explosive.
• After this, the secondary explosive is compressed by X-rays coming from the nuclear fission of the primary explosive. This process is called the “radiation implosion” of the secondary explosive.
• Finally, the secondary explosive is heated, after cold compression, by a second fission explosion that occurs inside the secondary explosive.

Differences between Hydrogen bomb and Atom bomb.
• A Hydrogen bomb is a much more powerful atomic weapon.
• The energy released in a Hydrogen bomb is several magnitudes higher than an Atom bomb. Hydrogen bombs can devastate whole cities in one explosion.
• A Hydrogen bomb derives its energy through the fusion of atoms. An Atom bomb derives its energy from fission.
• Nuclear fusion and nuclear fission are different types of reactions that release energy. In fission, an atom is split into 2 or more smaller, lighter atoms. Fusion, in contrast, occurs when 2 or more atoms fuse together, creating a larger, heavier atom.
• A fusion bomb is more sophisticated and difficult to make, since it requires a much higher temperature in the order of millions of degrees centigrade. So a fission is carried out first to produce more energy, which is then used to initiate fusion. In a fusion bomb, a fission device has to be triggered first.
• It is easier to make Hydrogen bombs in small size, so it is easier to place them in missiles.
• Hiroshima and Nagasaki both were atomic bombs and till date Hydrogen bombs have never been used in war.
• This is the fourth atomic test by North Korea and first test of fusion bomb.

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