hydrogen bomb


hydrogen bomb

noun

: a bomb that produces an extremely powerful and destructive explosion when hydrogen atoms unite

Full Definition of HYDROGEN BOMB

:  a bomb whose violent explosive power is due to the sudden release of atomic energy resulting from the fusion of light nuclei (as of hydrogen atoms) at very high temperature and pressure to form helium nuclei

First Known Use of HYDROGEN BOMB

1947

hydrogen bomb

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Weapon whose enormous explosive power is generated by the nuclear fusion of hydrogen isotopes. The high temperatures required for the fusion reaction are produced by detonating an atomic bomb (which draws its energy from nuclear fission). The bomb's explosion produces a blast that can destroy structures within a radius of several miles, an intense white light that can cause blindness, and heat fierce enough to set off firestorms. It also creates radioactive fallout that can poison living creatures and contaminate air, water, and soil. Hydrogen bombs, which may be thousands of times more powerful than atomic bombs, can be made small enough to fit in the warhead of a ballistic missile (see ICBM) or even in an artillery shell (see neutron bomb). Edward Teller and other U.S. scientists developed the first H-bomb and tested it at Enewetak atoll (Nov. 1, 1952). The Soviet Union first tested an H-bomb in 1953, followed by Britain (1957), China (1967), and France (1968). Most modern nuclear weapons employ both fusion and fission.

Variants of HYDROGEN BOMB

hydrogen bomb or H-bomb or thermonuclear bomb

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