Insight and foresight from the global frontlines

How much do you know about nuclear weapons? Take our quiz.

The nuclear arms race that began during World War II continues today. How much do you know about its science, history, and politics?

2. What is the difference between an atom bomb and a hydrogen (or thermonuclear) bomb?

U.S. Army via Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum/AP/File
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An atom bomb splits a plutonium atom, whereas a hydrogen bomb splits a radioactive hydrogen isotope.


Atom bombs and hydrogen bombs both derive energy from splitting atoms, or fission, but hydrogen bombs then harness that energy to power nuclear fusion, creating larger explosions. 


An atom bomb requires enriched uranium, whereas a hydrogen bomb can be produced from water – which makes the technology available to many more governments.

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