How Does Tsar Bomba Work? Tsar Bomba Is The World’s Largest Nuclear Bomb

Tsar Bomba

The Tsar Bomba is a nickname given to the Soviet Union’s RDS-220 hydrogen bomb. The Tsar Bomba, exploded by the Soviet Union on October 30, 1961, is the largest nuclear bomb and most powerful man-made explosion. Tsar Bomba, the climax of several Soviet and American hydrogen bomb tests, yielded 50 megatons of TNT.

Tsar Bomba was also known as “Kuzkina mat” or “Kuzma’s mother.” Its nickname may refer to Nikita Khrushchev’s 1960 UN General Assembly promise to show the US a “Kuzkina mat,” or “We’ll show you!Tsar Bomba was also known as “Big Ivan,” “Project 7000,” and “Product Code 202.” Tsar Bomba was codenamed “JOE 111” by the CIA.

Tsar Bomba Design

Yuli Khariton’s physicists created Tsar Bomba. Andrei Sakharov, Viktor Adamsky, Yuri Babayev, Smirnov, and Trutnev also participated.

The three-stage thermonuclear weapon Tsar Bomba had Trutnev-Babaev’s second and third stages. A fission-type atomic bomb compresses the thermonuclear second stage of a three-stage hydrogen bomb. This explosion compresses the larger thermonuclear third stage. Tsar Bomba has multiple third stages.

Tsar Bomba may have yielded 100 megatons, but it would have released 25% of all nuclear fallout since 1945, a deadly amount. The delivery plane would not have had enough time to escape. The third stage used a lead tamper instead of a uranium-238 fusion tamper to reduce nuclear fallout. The second stage may have employed this strategy.

The uranium-238 fusion tamper boosts the reaction by fissioning uranium atoms with fast neutrons from the fusion reaction. Thermonuclear fusion yielded 97% without rapid fissioning. Tsar Bomba produced little nuclear fallout despite its high yield.

Tsar Bomba Test

Major Andrei Durnovstev’s Tu-95V Soviet long-range bomber delivered the Tsar Bomba during the test. A Tu-16 observer plane filmed and collected air samples with the bomber. To reduce heat damage, planes were painted reflective white.

Tsar Bomba weighed 59,525 lbs. 26 feet long and 6.9 feet wide. Due to its size, the Tu-95V lost its bomb bay doors and fuselage fuel tanks. Tsar Bomba’s nearly 1,800-pound parachute gave the bomber and observer planes time to fly 30 miles from ground zero before detonation. The parachute and reflective paint gave passengers a 50/50 chance of survival.

At 11:32 p.m. On October 30, 1961, Tsar Bomba exploded above the Mityushikha Bay Nuclear Testing Range in the northern Arctic Circle. At 34,000 feet, barometric sensors configured the bomb to detonate at 13,000 feet.

Tsar Bomba accounted for 25% of the predicted output of the 1883 Krakatoa volcanic eruption and 10% of all nuclear testing by this date. The B41, the heaviest US nuclear bomb, had a percentage value of 25 megatons. Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton US nuclear bomb, was the largest. The Soviet SS-18 Mod. 3 ICBM warhead was 25 megatons.

Tsar Bomba Aftermath

Severny, 34 kilometers from ground zero, lost all its wooden and brick buildings. Wooden houses were demolished and brick and stone ones damaged in Soviet districts over 100 kilometers from ground zero. Radio communications also failed. Even with dark goggles, one test subject felt heat impacts at 170 kilometers. At 62 miles from ground zero, the blast might cause third-degree burns. Windows broke 560 miles away in Dikson, 430 miles from the shockwave. Atmospheric focusing of the shock wave smashed windows in Norway and Finland. Tsar Bomba, an air burst that detonated 13,000 feet above land, had a seismic magnitude of 5–5.25. Seismic sensors detected shockwaves following a third Earth revolution.

After the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union, all Russian sources have validated the Tsar Bomba’s yield as 50 megatons. The original Atomic Energy Commission estimate was 55–60 megatons. The bomb’s massive shock wave prevented the explosion from reaching the earth, despite calculations. Fireball approached its release altitude. The shock wave dropped the airplane about half a mile at detonation, but it survived. The Tsar Bomba mushroom cloud was 40 miles tall—seven times Mount Everest. The clouds topped the stratosphere. The cloud’s base was 25 miles and its top 59 miles.

The Tsar Bomba’s destruction is unthinkable. If such a weapon erupted in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, or Washington, D.C., their urban regions and vast parts of their suburbs would be entirely decimated and nearly lifeless.


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