The Hydrogen Bomb and Nuclear Warfare Essay

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The Hydrogen Bomb and Nuclear Warfare

"At that moment.... there flashed into my mind a passage from the Bhagavad-Gita, the sacred book of the Hindus: 'I am become death the shatterer of worlds.'" July 16, 1945: J. Robert Oppenheimer and a group of American scientists witnessed the startling fruits of their labor; in the desert of Alamogordo, New Mexico, the first explosion of a nuclear weapon. Prior to this moment all known explosives derived their potency from the rapid burning or decomposition of a chemical compound, receiving only the energy from each atom's valence electron (Encarta 97' Nuclear Weapons). No longer would the human race rely on such inadequate usage of atomic energy. Oppenheimer along with other
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Now scientists were faced with the task of utilizing this energy, thus the processes of atomic fission and fusion came into play. In an atomic bomb, the precursor to the hydrogen bomb, the nucleus of uranium splits in a process of fission. This splitting of the atom produces enormous amounts of heat energy. This aspect of the atom bomb, heat producing, lead scientists to believe they could actually manufacture the hydrogen bomb, a bomb already researched and thought to be possible but not achieved because of the lack of heat. The hydrogen bomb uses "heavy" hydrogen atoms, or isotopes, and fuses them together. This however requires intense heat. In comes the atomic bomb, which produces 27,000,000º F, in the afore mentioned process. So in essence the atom bomb acts as the trigger to the hydrogen bomb. After the atomic fission occurs supplying the heat for the fusion of the hydrogen isotopes, the hydrogen isotopes form helium, a heavier element. When the helium is formed heat is again released to cause another more violent fission, this time of uranium 238. Every hydrogen bomb follows this basic three-step process, that results in a chain reaction of heat, energy producing splits, and atomic collisions. Testing for the hydrogen bomb commenced on March 1,

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