Video encyclopedia

Thermonuclear weapon


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A thermonuclear weapon is a second-generation nuclear weapon design using a secondary nuclear fusion stage consisting of implosion tamper, fusion fuel, and spark plug which is bombarded by the energy released by the detonation of a primary fission bomb within, compressing the fuel material and causing a fusion reaction. Some advanced designs use fast neutrons produced by this second stage to ignite a third fast fission or fusion stage. The fission bomb and fusion fuel are placed near each other in a special radiation-reflecting container called a radiation case that is designed to contain x-rays for as long as possible. The result is greatly increased explosive power when compared to single-stage fission weapons. The device is colloquially referred to as a hydrogen bomb or, an H-bomb, because it employs the fusion of isotopes of hydrogen.
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  • Types 

  • Public knowledge concerning nuclear weapon design 

  • Basic principle 

  • Compression of the secondary 

  • Design variations 

  • History 

  • Public knowledge 

  • Nuclear reduction 

  • Notable accidents 

  • Variations