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  Educators Study Questions Nuclear Weapons, Making the Hydrogen Bomb

Making the Hydrogen Bomb:
Study Questions

  • Name the two scientists who designed the first USA hydrogen bomb in 1952.
  • Sketch and explain the "fission trigger" used in hydrogen bombs.

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  • How does the trigger explosion initiate thermonuclear reactions before the whole weapon blows apart?
  • Explain why hydrogen bombs are also called "fission-fusion-fission" weapons.
  • Where and when was the first thermonuclear weapon exploded on earth?
  • Describe the maximum yields of fission weapons and fusion weapons.
  • Describe as many "third generation" nuclear weapons as you can (this is an example of vertical weapons proliferation).
  • Name the three National Laboratories where the USA conducts R&D (research and development) on new nuclear weapons.
  • What government agency oversees the vast USA nuclear weapons enterprise?
  • How does the USA produce tritium for nuclear weapons?