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When an atom of radioactive material splits into lighter atoms, there’s a sudden, powerful release of energy. Used only twice in war – both by the United States against Japan – the atomic bomb is a powerful weapon that uses nuclear energy as its source of explosive energy.
See the fact file below for more information on the atomic bomb or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Atomic Bomb worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE ORIGIN OF A POWERFUL WEAPON
- The Manhattan Project was the codename for the secret U.S. government research and engineering project during the Second World War that developed the world’s first nuclear weapons.
- This was in response to Albert Einstein’s letter to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt warning that Germany might be developing an atomic bomb. To avoid calamity, the genius recommended that the U.S. do the same.
- Much of the work was performed in Los Alamos, New Mexico, under the supervision of theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer.
- Private corporations took part in developing the atomic bomb. DuPont helped prepare weapons-grade uranium and other components needed to make the bombs. The materials were processed in reactors located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Hanford, Washington.
- The isotopes uranium-235 and plutonium-239 were selected by the atomic scientists to cause fission. This process creates neutrons produced by the splitting of atoms, which strike nearby nuclei and produce more fission, releasing energy with each split. This is known as a chain reaction and is what causes an atomic explosion.
- Natural uranium only consists of about 0.7% U-235 compared to the abundant U-238. Scientists’ first task was to extract U-235 in order to produce the atomic bomb.
- Similar to U-235, P-239 needed careful extraction to effectively create fission when detonating the atomic bomb.
THE TRIGGER TO END THE WAR
- After six years of war in Europe, the Allies defeated the two of the Axis Forces – Germany and Italy – on May 1945, leaving only Japan on the eastern side of the world.
- Two months later, the atomic bomb was completed and tested in the early morning darkness at a military test-facility at Alamogordo, New Mexico.
- The explosion resulted in a huge mushroom cloud and powerful sonic waves that shattered windows of houses as far as 50 miles from the testing site.
- War with Japan continued until August 1945. This prompted the U.S. to devise tactics that would force Japanese forces to surrender. Detonating the atom bombs was among the options.
- Despite warnings to President Harry Truman of the impending mass death should the bombs be detonated, he authorized their use after Japan refused to surrender despite the threat of “prompt and utter destruction.”
- In total, the atomic bomb resulted in 210,000 civilian deaths in the four-month period following the explosion.
AFTERMATH OF THE A-BOMB
- The detonation of the atomic bombs released enormous amounts of thermal energy, or heat, achieving temperatures of several million degrees in the exploding bomb itself.
- This thermal energy created a large fireball, the heat of which ignited ground fires that incinerated both Nagasaki and Hiroshima at ground zero.
- The detonation immediately produced a strong shock wave that propagated outward from the blast to several miles, gradually losing its force along the way. The wave destroyed buildings for several miles from the location of the detonation.
- Large quantities of neutrons and gamma rays were also emitted; this lethal radiation decreased rapidly over 1 to 2 miles from the blast.
- Convection currents created by the explosion sucked dust and other materials up into the fireball, creating the characteristic mushroom-shaped cloud of an atomic explosion.
- The long-term effects of radiation exposure also increased cancer rates from 10-44% among the survivors. It reduced the survivors and their children’s lifespans to 1.3 years.
Atomic Bomb Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about atomic bomb across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Atomic Bomb worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the atomic bomb. When an atom of radioactive material splits into lighter atoms, there’s a sudden, powerful release of energy. Used only twice in war – both by the United States against Japan – the atomic bomb is a powerful weapon that uses nuclear energy as its source of explosive energy.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Atom Bomb Facts
- Atomic Minds
- Nuclear Fission
- Atomic Twins
- Dissecting the Ingredient
- The Sad Case of the Kyshtym Disaster
- After the Atom
- Atomic Collage
- Weapon of Mass Destruction
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Link will appear as Atomic Bomb Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 28, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.