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2-3-1-2Development of the Hydrogen Bomb

Mushroom cloud from the first U.S. hydrogen bomb test
November 1952 Marshall Islands Courtesy of U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

When the Soviet Union got its atomic bomb, the United States stepped up its work on a hydrogen bomb. A hydrogen bomb uses the high temperature and high pressure of an atomic explosion to trigger the nuclear fusion of deuterium, tritium, and other light elements. The energy emitted by this fusion provides the hydrogen bomb’s explosive force, which greatly surpasses that of atomic bombs. The United States conducted its first hydrogen bomb test in the South Pacific in 1952. The explosive force reached 10 megatons – 625 times more force than the Hiroshima bomb emitted.
The Soviet Union replied with a successful hydrogen bomb test in 1955.