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The Atomic Bomb By Jordan Graves The atomic bomb is a powerful nuclear weapon It is fueled by the fission of the nuclei of plutonium or uranium in a chain reaction The strength of the explosion created by one of these bombs is equal to the strength of an explosion created by thousands of tons of TNT To detonate one of these bombs enough mass of plutonium or uranium must be provided to reach what is known as critical mass Critical mass is the mass at which the nuclear reactions going on inside the material can make up for the neutrons that are leaving the material through its outside surface These materials are usually separated within the bomb so that critical mass cannot be reached until the bomb is ready to explode Once the chemical reactions within the bomb begin the neutrons released by each reaction hit other atoms and create more fission reactions until all the material is scattered or completely exhausted This process releases enormous amounts of energy in the form of extreme heat and a massive shock wave These nuclear explosions cause deadly radiation to soil and water and destroyed living things The atomic bomb was first created in the early twentieth century Physicists in the United States and Europe had discovered that the fission of uranium could be used to create a deadly explosive weapon A letter was sent to US president Franklin D Roosevelt by Albert Einstein that described this discovery and warned him of its potential dangers if developed by other nations A team under the command of United States Army Brigadier General Leslie R Groves designed and built the first atomic bombs directed by J Robert Oppenheimer This type of bomb was first tested at Alamogordo New Mexico on July 16 1945 The amount of energy that was released by this explosion alone was equivalent to
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