Which is more powerful an atom bomb or a hydrogen bomb?

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A hydrogen bomb is more powerful than an atomic bomb. Their explosions are caused by two different reactions.

    A nuclear weapon is a type of explosive weapon that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions of fusion or fission. As a result, even a nuclear weapon with a small yield is significantly more powerful than the largest conventional explosives, and a single weapon is capable of destroying an entire city.

    There are two basic types of nuclear weapons. The first are weapons which produce their explosive energy through nuclear fission reactions alone. These are known colloquially as atomic bombs, A-bombs, or fission bombs. In fission weapons, a mass of fissile material (enriched uranium or plutonium) is assembled into a supercritical mass—the amount of material needed to start an exponentially growing nuclear chain reaction—either by shooting one piece of sub-critical material into another (the "gun" method), or by compressing a sub-critical sphere of material using chemical explosives to many times its original density (the "implosion" method). The latter approach is considered more sophisticated than the former, and only the latter approach can be used if plutonium is the fissile material.

    The second basic type of nuclear weapon produces a large amount of its energy through nuclear fusion reactions, and can be over a thousand times more powerful than fission bombs as fusion reactions release much more energy per unit of mass than fission reactions. These are known as hydrogen bombs, H-bombs, thermonuclear bombs, or fusion bombs.

    Hydrogen bombs work by using the energy of a fission bomb in order to compress and heat fusion fuel. In the Teller-Ulam design, which accounts for all multi-megaton yield hydrogen bombs, this is accomplished by placing a fission bomb and fusion fuel (tritium, deuterium, or lithium deuteride) in proximity within a special, radiation-reflecting container. When the fission bomb is detonated, gamma and X-rays emitted at the speed of light first compress the fusion fuel, then heat it to thermonuclear temperatures. The ensuing fusion reaction creates enormous numbers of high-speed neutrons, which then can induce fission in materials which normally are not prone to it, such as depleted uranium. Each of these components is known as a "stage," with the fission bomb as the "primary" and the fusion capsule as the "secondary." In large hydrogen bombs, about half of the yield, and much of the resulting nuclear fallout, comes from the final fissioning of depleted uranium. [8] By chaining together numerous stages with increasing amounts of fusion fuel, thermonuclear weapons can be made to an almost arbitrary yield; the largest ever detonated (the Tsar Bomba of the USSR) released an energy equivalent to over 50 million tons (megatons) of TNT. Most hydrogen bombs are considerably smaller than this, though, due to constraints in fitting them into the space and weight requirements of missile warheads.

    There are many other types of nuclear weapons as well. For example, a boosted fission weapon is a fission bomb which increases its explosive yield through a small amount of fusion reactions, but it is not a hydrogen bomb. In the boosted bomb, the neutrons produced by the fusion reactions serve primarily to increase the efficiency of the fission bomb. Some weapons are designed for special purposes; a neutron bomb is a nuclear weapon that yields a relatively small explosion but a relatively large amount of radiation; such a device could theoretically be used to cause massive casualties while leaving infrastructure mostly intact and creating a minimal amount of fallout. The detonation of a nuclear weapon is accompanied by a blast of neutron radiation. Surrounding a nuclear weapon with suitable materials (such as cobalt or gold) creates a weapon known as a salted bomb. This device can produce exceptionally large quantities of radioactive contamination. Most variety in nuclear weapon design is in different yields of nuclear weapons for different types of purposes, and in manipulating design elements to attempt to make weapons extremely small.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Generally, a hydrogen bomb is 100 to 1000 times more destructive than a (atomic) fission bomb.

  • 1 decade ago

    A hydrogen bomb is much more powerful than an atom bomb

    In an atom bomb U-235 is used as the fissile material mostly which then disintegrates. It is a very dense material.

    But in a hydrogen bomb Hydrogen is used which is comparatively much lighter. So in spite of than more energy is liberated in the disintegration of 1mol U-235, the energy per unit mass in case of Hydrogen bomb is much higher.

  • 1 decade ago


    apparently the hydrogen bomb is easily 1000x more powerful then the atom bomb

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    what i was told by a college professor is:

    a 1 ton h-bomb equals a 30 ton a-bomb due and h-bomb is detonated by fusion and a-bomb is detonated by fission. to tell you the truth i wouldn't want to be near either one. hiroshima and nagasaki were a-bombs and if they had been h-bombs all japan would have been wiped out.

  • 1 decade ago

    hydrogen bomb but its not yet been made

  • sedler
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    fission is nuclear reaction fusion is "combustion" reaction they the two strengthen very at as quickly as, whether the 2d includes each available ingredient interior the location of the bomb it rather is the reason in fact it generates extra potential than the 1st one

  • 1 decade ago


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