When the atomic bomb showed its power during the Second World War, a race to acquire nuclear weapons started. All the countries who were capable of making atomic bombs one by one tested nuclear bombs and proved that they too could have a destructive bomb like the U.S. But by this time, U.S. had started working on a new nuclear weapon which was the hydrogen bomb. A special team of scientists started working for the U.S. in 1950 and successfully tested their first hydrogen bomb in the year 1952 in Enewetak. This test was named the Mike test. Well, this was a very brief on the history of hydrogen bomb or thermonuclear bomb.
Interesting Facts about Hydrogen Bomb
The credit of creating a hydrogen bomb or H-bomb goes to the physicist Enrico Fermi, who was a major part of the Manhattan Project. To apply the theory of fusion reaction after the successful implication of fission reaction in atomic bomb was a great challenge. It was difficult to control the chain reaction involved in fission. But they finally made a bomb which used the energy released in the fission reaction to initiate the fusion reaction whose results were more destructive than the atomic bomb that we know. Following are some of the facts about hydrogen bomb.
How does Hydrogen Bomb Work
A hydrogen bomb basically works with the help of fusion reaction but it includes fission reaction as well. Fission reaction releases a lot of energy whereas fusion reaction requires energy to take place. Hence, the reaction starts with the fission reaction where the neutrons collide with the uranium or plutonium and release excess amount of energy which creates high pressure and temperature. This gives a prefect environment for hydrogen and helium to fuse with each other. This generates even more energy and results in an explosion. Enormous amount of energy is released which can be highly destructive. Hence, we can say that hydrogen bomb has greater power than the atomic bomb.
Countries With Hydrogen Bomb
America was the first country to have this weapon in the year 1952. They repeatedly tested thermonuclear bomb in the years 1954. Russia followed them immediately and tested their first hydrogen bomb in the year 1953 and repeatedly tested it in 1955 and then in 1961. After this, there were many countries who came forward and tested their nuclear weapons. Great Britain tested this weapon in 1957, China in cooperation with the Soviet tested it in 1967, France in 1968 and India in the year 1998.
Efforts to Limit the Use of Hydrogen Bomb
The increasing number of nuclear powered countries increased the possibility of misuse of these weapons. Hence, it became very important to get them under control. In 1963 Limited Test Ban Theory was introduced which was signed by the United States, Soviet Union and the Great Britain. Since then 113 countries have also signed this treaty. One more treaty was introduced in the year 1996 which was Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. This treaty was to impose ban on all the nuclear tests on or under the earth's surface. This was supposed to be signed by 44 nations out of which 26 ratified the treaty, 15 have signed but not ratified and 3 nations namely India, Pakistan and Korea have not signed it.
Other Interesting Facts about Hydrogen Bomb
- The amount of light emitted in a thermonuclear explosion is enough to cause blindness. It also creates excess amount of heat which can evaporate everything coming within its range and can destroy buildings that are miles away.
- Hydrogen bombs have been tested since 1952 but they have never been used.
- The radius of the hydrogen bomb depends upon its size and capacity.
- The first hydrogen bomb was tested on the Enewetak Atoll of Marshall Island. The bomb completely vaporized the island at ground zero. Though it was an unpopulated island, the bomb killed all the types of life on the surrounding islands also.
- The second hydrogen bomb test was conducted on the Bikini Atoll island. But this was quite near to the island with inhabitants hence, it caused radiation sickness in the people and other living things.
- The first hydrogen bomb test which was the Mike test yielded 10.4 megatons of explosion which was 450 times more than the atomic bomb which was dropped on Nagasaki.
The atomic bomb killed more than 166,000 people in Hiroshima alone, by this nuclear weapon fact, you can calculated the amount of destruction hydrogen bomb can cause. The number of active nuclear weapons present on earth are enough to wipe off the entire human race. So, it can be inferred that though nuclear technology has given us tremendous weapons for safety, it has also created a lot of risks for our very existence.