The H-bomb: the most destructive weapon on earth

The first hydrogen bomb, tested in November 1952 by the United States, yielded energy equivalent to 10 megatons of TNT - roughly 1,000 times larger than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima seven years earlier.

In this new type of bomb, two types of hydrogen - deuterium and tritium - are fused into helium, thereby releasing energy.

A conventional nuclear weapon uses fission - splitting rather than fusing the nuclei of atoms - to create a less powerful explosion.

A hydrogen bomb uses an initial fission reaction to produce the high temperatures required for the more powerful fusion reaction.

Less than a year after the US thermonuclear bomb test, the Soviet Union exploded their own H-bomb, starting a race to produce more "superbombs."

The most powerful H-bomb ever detonated - and therefore the biggest ever man-made explosion - was used by the Soviets in 1961. Known as the Tsar Bomba, it produced a yield equivalent to 50 megatons of TNT.

Last update: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 13:36
Author: 

More from World

56 reported killed in twin suicide blasts in Nigeria

Some 56 people were killed Friday in north-eastern Nigeria when two female suicide bombers detonated explosives at a...

Five killed as anglophone Cameroonians riot

At least five people have been killed in the Cameroonian city of Bamenda as anglophone residents protesting the...

Militant group claims Cairo attack that killed six policemen

A little-known militant group, allegedly linked to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, has claimed responsibility for a...

Turkey overstepped law with post-coup dismissals, experts say

Experts with Europe's human rights watchdog said Friday that mass dismissals by Turkey's government and the...

McLaren: Russia duped international sport, 1,000 athletes involved

Russia has duped international sport "on an unprecedented scale" with more than 1,000 athletes implicated in a...