There are 2 types of atomic explosions
that can be facilitated by U-235
. Fission, simply put, is a nuclear reaction in which an atomic nucleus
splits into fragments, usually two fragments of comparable mass, with the evolution of approximately 100 million to several hundred million volts
of energy. This energy is expelled explosively and violently in the atomic bomb. A fusion reaction is invariably started with a fission reaction, but unlike the fission reaction, the fusion (Hydrogen
) bomb derives its power from the fusing of nuclei of various hydrogen isotopes
in the formation of helium nuclei
. Being that the bomb in this file is strictly atomic, the other aspects of the Hydrogen Bomb
will be set aside for now.
The massive power behind the reaction in an atomic bomb arises from the forces that hold the atom together. These forces are akin to, but not quite the same as, magnetism
Atoms are comprised of three sub-atomic particles
cluster together to form the nucleus (central mass) of the atom while the electrons orbit the nucleus much like planets around a sun. It is these particles that determine the stability of the atom.
Most natural elements have very stable atoms which are impossible to split except by bombardment
by particle accelerators
. For all practical purposes, the one true element whose atoms can be split comparatively easily is the metal Uranium
. Uranium's atoms are unusually large, henceforth, it is hard for them to hold together firmly. This makes Uranium-235
an exceptional candidate for nuclear fission.