The first thing to do before entering fully into the meaning of the term atomic bomb is to know the etymological origin of the two words that give it its shape:
-Bomb is a term that comes from Latin. Specifically, it derives from “bombus”, which can be translated as “loud noise”.
-Atomic is a word derived from Greek. It means “related to a very small matter that cannot be divided” and is the result of the addition of the prefix “a-“, which means “without”; the word “took”, which is synonymous with “cut”; and the suffix “-ico”, which can be translated as “relative to”.
The term bomb has several meanings: in this case we are interested in its meaning as the explosive element that has a mechanism that allows defining when the explosion will occur.
According to DigoPaul, atomic, for its part, is an adjective that qualifies what is linked to atoms: particles made up of a nucleus that is surrounded by electrons and that cannot be divided through chemical procedures.
These definitions allow us to understand what the concept of atomic bomb refers to. It is a particular bomb that suddenly releases an enormous amount of energy from the fission of plutonium or uranium atoms or the fusion of hydrogen isotopes.
The energy in these bombs comes from nuclear reactions. In these processes, in which atomic nuclei and sub-atomic particles are transformed and combined, a lot of energy can be released.
An atomic bomb is a weapon of mass destruction. The only nation that used these bombs in a war and against the civilian population was the United States in 1945, when it attacked two cities in Japan: Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is estimated that, with the attack perpetrated with these two atomic bombs, the US military caused about 246,000 deaths at the time and in the following weeks.
The operation of an atomic bomb consists of the bombardment of neutrons against a fissile or fissile heavy nucleus, which can be plutonium-239 or uranium-235. The impact of the neutrons against the nucleus generates a nuclear chain reaction.
In the same way, it should not be overlooked that historically what was known as the Manhattan Project existed. Specifically, it was a scientific project that the United States carried out together with Canada and the United Kingdom during World War II.
The objective of this initiative was none other than to develop an atomic bomb before Nazi Germany did. In numerous research centers, such as the Manhattan Engineering District, the same research was carried out, which was led by important figures such as General Leslie Richard Groves or the physicist Julius Robert Oppenheimer. Not forgetting other figures who participated in one way or another such as Ernest Lawrence and Niels Böhr.
The first atomic test that was carried out was called Trinity and was carried out in the Alamogordo desert (New Mexico).