8 Chemicals Used in Nuclear Weapons – Types
Most of us know about the tragedy that happened in 1945, when Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a city in Japan which got blown up by a nuclear weapon. This weapon killed a huge amount of lives, it took approximately 129.000 peoples, which most of them are civilians.
Not few of them also died because of the atomic bomb effects of burn, radiation, and other injuries in the following months, and these effects also take lots of lives. So, we aren’t talking about a small weapon, but this is a serious massive-killing weapon, a whole city got blown up.
Can you imagine how strong the power is? How these weapons can killed thousands of people? And we are going to get all answers to those questions. Here’s Chemicals Used in Nuclear Weapons:
Nuclear weapons are a weapon that will explodes because of chemical reactions that happen inside the cylinders. Its power is similar to a ton of TNT or even million thousands times bigger than TNT. It is a very risky weapon so every country that has nuclear weapons should declared NFU (No First Use) Policy, a policy about not to use nuclear weapons as a mean for war use, and there are only few countries whom have this weapon, such as United States of America, Great Britain, Russia, Republic of China, French, etc.
Types of Nuclear Weapons
Both nuclear weapons are releasing energy, and made for destruction, but there some differences that made them divided in 2 types.
- Fission Bomb
Fission bomb also known as atom bomb, is a type of nuclear weapon which its atoms are split into a smaller and lighter atoms. In order to make this weapon works, it requires critical mass of the substance and of course a high speed neutrons, so it only takes a few energy to explode. Due to its small amount of energy needed, its power isn’t as big as thermonuclear bomb.
- Thermonuclear Bomb
Thermonuclear bomb also known as fusion bomb is a type of nuclear weapon which its atoms are fuse together to form a bigger and heavier atoms. Sun, for example. Sun is made of stars that are fused together and form a huge star that we called as sun. Thermonuclear bombs requires more energy than fission bomb, but it could produce a power 3 to 4 times bigger.
Besides their differences, there are also some similarities that they have, such as:
- Both of them are form a nuclear chemical chain
- Both of them release a huge energy
You may also read about Examples of Extremely Flammable Chemicals
Chemicals in Nuclear Weapons
Here are the chemicals used in nuclear weapons:
Fissile is a material which sustain a nuclear chain reaction to create a powerful energy. Materials that include as fissile are plutonium and uranium
Plutonium is a rare chemical element with symbol Pu and atomic number 94 which was named after Pluto, which once used to consider as planet. It has silvery-gray color and one of the most radioactive substance. Besides that, plutonium also include in type of explosive element, and because of its easily explosive character, once it was used in nuclear bombs which explode Nagasaki, Japan in 1945.
Uranium is a chemical element which has symbol U and atomic number 92. This chemical element also radioactive, but it less radioactive than plutonium, because its isotopes aren’t stable. It has silvery-white colors. Type of uranium which is commonly used in nuclear weapons are uranium-235 and uranium-238.
- Fissionable Material
Fissionable material are materials which capable to fission after capturing a high energy of neutron.
Deuterium as known as heavy hydrogen is an isotopes with symbol 2H or D. We can say that deuterium is the main ingredient in order to make nuclear weapons work, because nuclear weapons need a heavier hydrogen, and Deuterium is the perfect match.
Tritium as known as helium-3 is a radioactive chemical that was first produced by Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealand-born British physicist. With symbol 3H, tritium is rarely found on earth. It is also can be produced by irradiating lithium ceramic pebbles in a nuclear reactor.
- Material Source
Here is the explanations about chemicals used in nuclear weapons:
This element was called polonium because polonium is named after Poland. It was discovered by a couple of physicist, Marie and Pierre Curie in Kingdom of Poland on 1898. Polonium is a very radioactive chemical element with symbol Po and atomic number 84 and it has silvery-gray appearance, and if polonium meets beryllium they could provide sources of neutrons.
Beryllium is a great heat conductor element with symbol Be and atomic number 4 and include in alkaline earth metal group. It has silvery gray color, light weight, but it has an amazing strength and hardness. Beryllium used in nuclear industries because beryllium work to multiply industries because beryllium work to multiply amount of neutrons. You might want to read about Chemicals Used in Battery Industry
Lithium, a chemical element that we can found almost in every mobile phone’s battery, with symbol Li and atomic number 3, it’s located at the same periods as Beryllium, periods 2. Lithium has a high melting point temperature, makes it as a great heat conductor, and great for nuclear weapons fuel. You might want to read about Common Uses of Lithium in Everyday Life and Its Side Effects
At one time, helium gas was so in among teenagers, especially in social media, such as Instagram. Lots of video show a teenagers inhale helium gas through their mouth and it could create a chipmunk alike sound. That helium gas that we play with also includes to nuclear weapons ingredient, with symbol He and atomic number 2. You might want to read about Helium Uses in The World
Helium gas also mostly used to make flying balloon that we really love when kids. Helium gas also wasn’t that difficult to make, it only needs 2 ingredients, alcohol and aluminium foil. We just need to heated the alcohol on a container and put some aluminium foil in it. The gas it will produce are helium gas.
You may also learn about: