MLA Citation: Bloomfield, Louis A. "Question 460"
How Everything Works 21 Jun 2018. 21 Jun 2018 <>.
460. When a plane drops a nuclear bomb, what sets the detonation process into effect?
The altitude at which the bomb explodes affects its results. Near or on the ground, the blast would cause incredible local damage, but less long-range damage. Above the ground, the blast would cause less local damage, but more long-range damage. So the bomb-makers build altitude sensing equipment into the bomb; probably a pressure sensing or radar-based altimeter. When the bomb has determined that it is at the right height, it triggers. High explosives assemble the critical mass as quickly as possible (typically by crushing the central sphere with carefully shaped high explosive charges). Once the fissionable material exceeds its critical mass, the chain reaction starts and the bomb explodes.

Return to
Generated for printing on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 0:56:26 EDT
Copyright 1997-2018 © Louis A. Bloomfield, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy