Definitions for nuclear weapon

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word nuclear weapon

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

nu′clear weap′on(n.)

  1. an explosive device whose destructive potential derives from the release of energy that accompanies the splitting or combining of atomic nuclei.

    Category: Military

Origin of nuclear weapon:

1945–50

Princeton's WordNet

  1. nuclear weapon, atomic weapon(noun)

    a weapon of mass destruction whose explosive power derives from a nuclear reaction

Wiktionary

  1. nuclear weapon(Noun)

    A weapon that derives its energy from the nuclear reactions of either fission or fusion.

Freebase

  1. Nuclear weapon

    A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount of energy as approximately 20,000 tons of TNT. The first thermonuclear bomb test released the same amount of energy as approximately 10,000,000 tons of TNT. A thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds can produce an explosive force comparable to the detonation of more than 1.2 million tons of TNT. Thus, even a small nuclear device no larger than traditional bombs can devastate an entire city by blast, fire and radiation. Nuclear weapons are considered weapons of mass destruction, and their use and control have been a major focus of international relations policy since their debut. Only two nuclear weapons have been used in the course of warfare, both by the United States near the end of World War II. On 6 August 1945, a uranium gun-type fission bomb code-named "Little Boy" was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, on 9 August, a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb code-named "Fat Man" was exploded over Nagasaki, Japan. These two bombings resulted in the deaths of approximately 200,000 people—mostly civilians—from acute injuries sustained from the explosions. The role of the bombings in Japan's surrender, and their ethical status, remain the subject of scholarly and popular debate.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. nuclear weapon

    A complete assembly (i.e., implosion type, gun type, or thermonuclear type), in its intended ultimate configuration which, upon completion of the prescribed arming, fusing, and firing sequence, is capable of producing the intended nuclear reaction and release of energy.

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