The Hydrogen Bomb
The hydrogen bomb is a nuclear weapon in which light atomic nuclei of hydrogen are joined together in an uncontrolled nuclear fusion reaction to release huge amounts of energy. The hydrogen bomb is about a thousand time more powerful than the atomic bomb, which produces a nuclear fission explosion almost a million times more powerful than that of a comparably sized bomb using conventional high explosives such as TNT.
The atomic bomb was an essential first step towards the development of the hydrogen bomb, before the atomic bomb w2as developed by the United States during World War 2, there was no way to produce the extreme amounts of heat needed to initiate the fusion reaction of the hydrogen bomb. Even afer World Waar 2, the hydrogen bomb faced many political and technical obstacles. The U.S. government gace priority to perfecting and stockpiling atomic bombs, and scientists discovered that initiating a fusion reaction was mmore tehn somply placing a container of hydrogen near a fusion trigger.
Tension to develop the hydrogen bomb increased in the United States after the Sovier Union set off ites first atomic bomb in August 1949. The military, the joint congressional committee on atomic energy, and several noted physicists, including Edward Teller and Ernest Lawrence, called for creation of a so-called super-bomb, but the general advisory of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Chaired by J. Robert Oppenheimer, in agreement recommended that the bomb should not be developed, because of the technical difficulties involved, the need to enlarge the atomic bomb reserve, and because of the moral considerations. A mojarity of the AEC supported this decision and paddes their recommenndartion on to president Harry S. Truman. A National Security Council report recommended otherwise, however and at the end of January 1950, Truman ordered that the United States should investigate the possibility of producing hydrogen bombs. Edward Teller was placed in charge of the investigation.
The decision to move ahead with the hydrogen bomb development was made in response to U.S. perceptions that the USSR was close to porducing its own hydrogen bomb. Thermonuclear device testing was to begin in 1952, and in 1954, both the United States and the USSR had acheived hydrogen bomb capablitites. Since that year each side has developed nuclear arsdenals taht are almost entirely composed of fusion weapons, rather than fission weapons. They have reached a strategic conditon taht promises total destruction, this condition is now...