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6. Fission and Fusion reaction

The Atomic Bomb

Atomic bombs are nuclear weapons that use the energetic output of nuclear fission to produce massive explosions. These bombs are in contrast to hydrogen bombs, which use both fission and fusion to power their greater explosive potential.

History

Only two nuclear weapons have been used in the course of warfare, both by the United States near the end of World War II. On August 6th, 1945, a uranium gun-type fission bomb code-named “Little Boy” was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, on August 9th, a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb code-named “Fat Man” was exploded over Nagasaki, Japan. These two bombings resulted in the deaths of approximately 200,000 Japanese people—mostly civilians. The role of the bombings in Japan’s surrender, and their ethical status, remain the subject of scholarly and popular debate.

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