Types of Nuclear Weapon

  • Frank Barnaby


The basic nuclear weapon is the fission bomb, or A-bomb (A for atomic) as it was first called. A fission chain reaction is used to produce a very large amount of energy in a very short time — roughly a millionth of a second — and therefore a very powerful explosion.


Nuclear Weapon Natural Uranium Spontaneous Fission Fusion Material Nuclear Weapon Programme 
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  1. 1.
    Margaret Gowing, Independence and Deterrence: Britain and Atomic Energy, 1945–52 (London: Macmillan, 1974).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. Rotblat, Nuclear Radiation in Warfare (London: Taylor & Francis, 1981).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chuck Hansen, U.S. Nuclear Weapons; The Secret History (New York: Orion, 1988).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Frank Barnaby 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Barnaby
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Atomic Weapons Research EstablishmentUniversity College LondonAldermaston
  2. 2.Free UniversityAmsterdamUK

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