What triggers a nuclear weapon?
Nuclear fission produces the atomic bomb, a weapon of mass destruction that uses power released by the splitting of atomic nuclei. When a single free neutron strikes the nucleus of an atom of radioactive material like uranium or plutonium, it knocks two or three more neutrons free.
What are conventional explosives?
Conventional weapons include small arms, defensive shields and light weapons, sea and land mines, as well as (non-weapons of mass destruction) bombs, shells, rockets, missiles and cluster munitions. These weapons use explosive material based on chemical energy, as opposed to nuclear energy in nuclear weapons.
Does an atomic bomb use a conventional explosive?
The gun-type assembly uses a conventional explosive to compress from one side, while the implosion assembly compresses from all sides simultaneously. The immediate energy release per atom is about 180 million electron volts (Me).
What was the first explosive used in a nuclear weapon?
The first explosive material used in weapons was gunpowder, nowadays more powerful explosives like TNT and RDX are used. The explosive material in a nuclear weapon can undergo a nuclear reaction at an incredibly fast rate. What a nuclear reaction is and why it releases so much energy is explained later.
Are there any non-warfare uses for nuclear explosives?
Almost all nuclear explosive devices that have been designed and produced are nuclear weapons intended for warfare . Other, non-warfare, applications for nuclear explosives have occasionally been proposed. For example, nuclear pulse propulsion is a form of spacecraft propulsion that would use nuclear explosives to provide impulse to a spacecraft.
Where does the energy of an explosive come from?
A nuclear explosive is an explosive device that derives its energy from nuclear reactions.
How are conventional weapons different from nuclear weapons?
All such weapons contain explosive material which explodes when suitably triggered. In conventional weapons, the explosive material is something that can undergo some chemical reaction which proceeds extremely quickly and releases a lot of energy. Basically it can ‘burn’ so fast that it explodes.