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Nuclear Chemistry and Nuclear Weapons The field of nuclear chemistry is so broad and varied that there is no universally accepted definition for it This is because it is a subject with its origins springing from areas such as physics biology and chemistry Nuclear chemistry has contributed to numerous important discoveries in our knowledge of the nucleus and has also provided advancements in medicine and the use of nuclear weapons We use nuclear chemistry in the medical field where radiation therapy and imaging are major applications in energy production as nearly one-fifth of the worlds electricity is generated by nuclear power in industry and much more An atomic bomb is defined as a powerful nuclear weapon whose destructive effect is caused by the sudden release of energy when atoms of uranium or plutonium are split into atoms of lighter elements Hahn and Straussmann first discovered fission around Christmas in 1938 The first atomic bombs were constructed and detonated in 1945 when the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in World War II The damage and death caused by an atomic explosion are due to blast heat direct nuclear radiation and fallout A variety of names are used for these bombs A-bombs or atomic bombs H-bombs or hydrogen bombs nuclear weapons and fission bombs are a few No matter the name all nuclear weapons so far invented require fission to initiate the explosive release of energy Besides the United States there are other countries in which have atomic bombs including Russia It was recently reported that for more than 20 years China has had stolen secret information on every nuclear weapon in the United States arsenal enabling Beijing to build missiles capable of reaching America Arnold Kanter a senior fellow at the Washington-based Forum for International Policy said that the Chinese have two dozen nuclear warheads in comparison to the Untied States more than 6000 Even so
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