How the World's Most Powerful Bombs Work

Little Boy and Fat Man are nothing compared to today's new and improved bombs.
Loukia Papadopoulos

We all know about the nuclear weapons that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. Today the bombs in the arsenals of militaries around the world, however, are much more powerful.

How do they work? Fission bombs use large amounts of energy released by breaking the nucleus at the center of an atom and fusion bombs use the energy released from combining two nuclei together.

Luckily, these bombs have not yet been used on live targets. The only nuclear weapons ever deployed were the fission bombs that annihilated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Little Boy and Fat Man produced an estimated yield of 15 and 21 kilotons or thousands of tons of TNT, respectively.

They decimated anything caught within a mile (1.6 km) of their epicenters. If this sounds scary, it's because it is. If nuclear bombs are that much more powerful today than their earlier versions then one can only imagine how destructive they can be.

This begs the question: how exactly do these bombs work? What safety measures exist so that they are not unleashed by accident? Which nations hold most of these bombs and have they ever threatened to use them? We answer these questions and more and bring you footage of the explosions from the past.

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