Tuesday, 27 February 2007

The science behind the atomic bomb

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The science behind the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII. Targeted at students aged 11-17, this educational ... all » documentary integrates all 3 sciences and includes: scientific principles behind the atom bomb (radioactive decay, alpha, beta, and gamma radiation, nuclear fission etc.), how the bomb was built (how uranium-235 was purified from pitchblende ore, the mechanisms of the bombs e.g. implosion method in Fat Man etc.), how the bomb caused its damage (shockwave, somatic and genetic effects of radiation etc.), a little on the atom bomb and society (nuclear proliferation, nuclear winter etc.), and modern developments in nuclear technology (nuclear power, nuclear medicine, nuclear fusion etc.). This video was originally created as a school project.

ERRATA: The foam in thermonuclear bombs is purely for structural support, ablation provides the compression force setting off the fusion secondary. When X-rays from the primary are absorbed by the tamper (casing) of the secondary, the outer portion of secondary's tamper ablates (evaporates). This ablated tamper material expands outward and, by Newton's Third Law, causes the rest of the casing to accelerate inward, setting off the fusion secondary.