No doubt, you’re familiar with the term “nuclear weapon” (or, perhaps, “nucular weapon“). You know that a nuclear bomb detonation is enormous, and it’s usually followed by a mushroom cloud. You know nuclear bombs played a big part in the way World War II turned out and that they were the theme of the Cold War. You also know that there are enough lying around planet Earth to make you a bit paranoid.
Okay, good start. But what trait puts the word “nuclear” in a nuclear bomb? Why is a nuclear bomb in particular so powerful? Why do they produce a mushroom cloud? And why does a nuclear bomb explode while a nuclear plant, ideally, does not explode?
In this episode of Say What? Science, I have the nuclear physicist Mark Sakitt on-hand to answer these good questions.
Did you enjoy learning from Mark Sakitt as much as I did? You can listen to the long version of my interview with him on the Doppler Effect, a science and technology radio show on WNYU.
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