Definition of atom bomb in US English:

atom bomb

(also atomic bomb)


  • A bomb which derives its destructive power from the rapid release of nuclear energy by fission of heavy atomic nuclei, causing damage through heat, blast, and radioactivity.

    In such a bomb two pieces of a fissile material are brought together by a conventional explosion to form a super critical mass. Neutrons then cause an uncontrolled fission chain reaction that quickly releases large amounts of energy

    Compare with hydrogen bomb
    • ‘In 1943 he went to the United States to work on the development of the atom bomb at Los Alamos.’
    • ‘Britain developed its own atom bomb to remain a great power and avoid complete dependence on the United States, which was refusing to share atomic information.’
    • ‘There were no explosives or incendiaries within the rods; the sheer kinetic force of the rod falling and hitting the target had the explosive effect of an atom bomb.’
    • ‘For example, any discovery, whether it be the wheel, the printing press, or the atom bomb, cannot be neatly labeled and filed away in the pages of an encyclopaedia.’
    • ‘Conversion is the first step in making enriched uranium that can be nuclear reactor fuel or atom bomb material.’
    • ‘The blast was 600 times as violent as the Hiroshima atom bomb and shot a nuclear cloud more than 17 miles high into the air.’
    • ‘It is also the anniversary of the dropping of the first atom bomb on Hiroshima, to be followed by the bomb for Nagasaki.’
    • ‘Bruno, a protégé of Enrico Fermi, was a world-class physicist whose work contributed to the making of the atom bomb.’
    • ‘An atom bomb just 10 yards from a detector would generate a gravity wave signal a billion trillion times weaker than the one you could detect from a distant supernova exploding in our galaxy.’
    • ‘The FBI noted Einstein's fervent opposition to the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.’
    • ‘That October, he formally exposed the military's secret plan to develop an atom bomb.’
    • ‘In 1939 he wrote to President Roosevelt about the military potential of nuclear energy, greatly influencing the decision to build an atom bomb.’
    • ‘He recalled, almost apologetically, how beautiful the atom bomb was, marveling at how every color imaginable burst forth upon detonation.’
    • ‘Now and then, historic images are etched in the mass mind: the awesome mushroom cloud of the atom bomb will forever represent the specter of nuclear destruction.’
    • ‘As early as Truman, who refrained from using the atom bomb in Korea, the Americans realised the use of nuclear weapons was too awful to contemplate.’
    • ‘Like his fellow scientists, Teller initially saw the atom bomb not as a weapon but as a deterrent.’
    • ‘The simple atom bomb owed its explosive power to the energy released by nuclear fission, or fusion.’
    • ‘The physicist Joseph Rotblat was the only scientist to leave the project that developed the atom bomb, the Manhattan Project, for reasons of personal conscience.’
    • ‘In order to have written this historical play, which deals indirectly with the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima, Frayn had to have a pretty fair understanding of quantum physics.’
    • ‘The most fearsome new weapon of all - the atom bomb - was fortunately never available to Hitler.’
    • ‘The Japanese surrendered after the United States used a powerful new weapon, the atom bomb.’
    nuclear weapons, nuclear bombs, atom bombs, a-bombs
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atom bomb

/ˈadəm ˌbäm//ˈædəm ˌbɑm/