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Effects of the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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Effects of the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 

Ever since the dawn of time man has found new ways of killing each other. The most destructive way of killing people known to man would have to be the atomic bomb. The reason why the atomic bomb is so destructive is that when it is detonated, it has more than one effect. The effects of the atomic bomb are so great that Nikita Khrushchev said that the survivors would envy the dead (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 1982). These devastating physical effects come from the atomic bomb’s blast, the atomic bomb’s thermal radiation, and the atomic bomb’s nuclear radiation.

An atomic bomb is any weapon that gets its destructive power from an atom. This power comes when the matter inside of the atoms is transformed into energy. The process by which this is done is known as fission. The only two atoms suitable for fissioning are the uranium isotope U-235 and the plutonium isotope Pu-239 (Outlaw Labs). Fission occurs when a neutron, a subatomic particle with no electrical charge, strikes the nucleus of one of these isotopes and causes it to split apart.

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The thermal radiation produced by an atomic bomb explosion will account for thirty-five percent of the atomic bomb’s damage. Thermal radiation can come in either one of three forms; ultraviolet radiation, visible radiation, or infrared radiation. The ultraviolet radiation is absorbed so rapidly by air particles that it has no substantial effect on people (World Book, 1990). However, the visible and infrared radiation creates an enormous amount of heat to be produced, approximately ten million degrees Celsius at the hypocenter (Physicians and Scientists on Nuclear War, 1981). This heat has two main effects. The first is known as flash burns. These flash burns are produced by the flash of thermal radiation right after the explosion. Flash burns can be either first degree burns (bad sun burns), second degree burns ( blisters, infections, and scars), or third degree burns (destroyed skin tissue). The second type is known as flame burns. These are burns that come from one of two different types of fires, which are created when flammable materials are ignited by the thermal radiation. The first type is called firestorms. A firestorm is violent, has raging winds, and has extremely high temperatures; but fortunately it does not spread very rapidly. The second type is called a conflagration.
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“Any nuclear war would inevitably cause death, disease, and suffering of pandemic proportions and without the possibility of effective medical intervention. The only hope for humanity is prevention of any form of Nuclear War.

The examples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will hopefully be the first and the last time that the power of the atomic bomb will ever be used.

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