What is The difference between atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs?

by | Jun 30, 2017

The above picture is of replicas of Little Boy, 15 Kilotons of explosive power dropped on Hiroshima Aug 6, 1945 and Fat Man, 20 Kiltons and dropped on Nagasaki Aug 9, 1945.  Both bombs are “atomic bombs” and are powered by nuclear fission which creates energy from splitting atoms. These nuclear weapons can be as small as one Kiloton or as big as hundreds of Kilotons. One kiloton is 1,000 tons of TNT.

Hydrogen bombs, also called thermonuclear bombs, are much more powerful than atomic bombs.  H-bombs are powered by nuclear fusion which requires intense heat and energy and involves creating a heavier nucleus from two lighter atoms. The energy needed to achieve nuclear fusion in H-bombs is achieved by first creating nuclear fission with a small atomic explosion. H-bombs can be thousands of times larger in terms of explosive yield than atomic bombs. It is much more difficult to manufacture a H-bomb than an atomic bomb.

In case you are wondering, the tests of nuclear bombs by North Korea have been in the range of 10-30 Kilotons – so they are the smaller (but still very destructive) atomic bombs. North Korea claims to have the H-bomb but experts dispute this claim.

Which countries have the Hydrogen Bomb?

  • United States
  • Russia
  • UK
  • France
  • China

Who might have H-bombs

  • Israel
  • Pakistan
  • India

1 Comment

  1. World Nuclear stock pile estimate:
    QTY Percent
    Russia 7000 47%
    US 6800 46%
    France 300 2%
    China 260 2%
    UK 215 1%
    Pakistan 130 1%
    India 120 1%
    Israel 80 1%
    North Korea < 15

    Total 14905 100%
    With the United States and Russia having over 90% of the worlds total nuclear Bomb inventory are we more likely to be destroyed from within or from the outside?


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