Tsar Bomba Novaya Zemlya October 30, 1961
Hans Bethe had joined the US project on building a fusion bomb that uses the same nuclear process as Sun to generate explosive energy hoping to show that such a weapon is not possible.
He was wrong.
Nikita Khrushchev had promised the world in United Nations General Assembly in 1960 that his country, the U.S.S.R. would "show the world".
And it did!
Tsar Bomba is the most powerful nuclear explosion ever created by man with the effective power of 50 million tons of TNT. The designers reduced the power to half from the original plan of 100 Mt to avoid excessive fallout. Because it was a fusion bomb where hydrogen becomes helium the explosion was clean with almost no radioactive fallout.
- Length 8 m
- Diameter 2.1 m
- Weigh 27 tons
How powerful was Tsar Bomba?
Pretty powerful at 50 megatons of TNT.
The fission bomb Little Boy that destroyed Hiroshima 6 August 1945 killing about 66.000 people and injuring another 69.000 had the power of 16 kilotons of TNT.
The Fat Man dropped to Nagasaki was 23 kilotons.
The Tsar Bomb was a three-stage Teller–Ulam design hydrogen bomb with a yield of 50 megatons. This is equivalent to
- 1,400 times the combined power of the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- 10 times the combined power of all the explosives used in WWII
- one quarter of the estimated yield of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa.