Question: During the research that led to production of the two
During the research that led to production of the two atomic bombs used against Japan in World War II, differ ent mechanisms for obtaining a supercritical mass of fissionable material were investigated. In one type of bomb, a “gun” shot one piece of fissionable material into a cavin’ containing another piece of fissionable material. In the second type of bomb, the fissionable material was surrounded with a high explosive that, when detonated, compressed the fissionable material into a smaller volume. Discuss what is meant by critical mass, and explain why the ability to achieve a critical mass is essential to sustaining a nuclear reaction.
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