Science & Tech

Harrowing animation shows how Oppenheimer's atomic bomb worked

Harrowing animation shows how Oppenheimer's atomic bomb worked
Christopher Nolan: there's 'very strong parallels' between Oppenheimer and AI regulation supporters

The release of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer has generated a flurry of interest in the man behind the atomic bomb, Julius Robert Oppenheimer.

The film tells the story of the physicist and his role in the Manhattan Project, which was the codename given to the development of the A-bomb.

Oppenheimer, who referred to himself as “death, destroyer of worlds”, was the figurehead of the project, which involved splitting the atom and the devastation wrought by two atomic bombs being dropped on Japan in 1945.

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The first bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. It killed tens of thousands of people. It was nicknamed Little Boy.

Oppenheimer Atomic bomb How it Works | First Nuclear

A second bomb fell days later on the city of Nagasaki, this time nicknamed Fat Man. Historians believe more than 200,000 people died as a result of the events, with millions more severely affected.

Now, YouTube channel AiTelly has produced a video of what exactly happens inside such a weapon to create such a wave of destruction.

The animation shows that when the bomb falls, it activates a switch that triggers a trio of navy gun primers, which in turn ignite a charge inside the weapon.

Four silk powder bags containing two pounds of cordite, an explosive powder, push the the uranium projectile forward at 300 metres-per-second.

The uranium collides with more uranium at the front of the bomb, combining them with four polonium initiators, which create nuclear fission.

This is the act of splitting the atom, and it is what creates the huge expulsion of energy – the explosion.

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