View Full Version : Oxygen bomb?

2009-Mar-22, 12:19 AM
could oxygen be used in an bomb?

like helium is used, its compressed until the atom splits.

i think.

could the same thing happen to oxygen?

what happens to Pure oxygen when its compressed?


Nowhere Man
2009-Mar-22, 01:15 AM
Well, you are confused about how an H-bomb (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_bomb) works. First, it uses hydrogen, not helium. Second, it doesn't split the atoms, it fuses them, making helium from hydrogen. It takes a lot more energy to get oxygen to fuse into heavier elements, which produces less energy than hydrogen fusion. You get a net loss of energy when you split oxygen nuclei.

The older uranium and plutonium bombs now, those work by splitting the atoms (a runaway chain reaction). That provides less energy than fusion, but it is enough to compress the hydrogen to fusion conditions.


2009-Mar-24, 06:44 PM
Oxygen wouldn't work well in a nuclear bomb. It does, however, do wonders in an old-fashioned incendiary or low-level explosive device, especially the smaller IAD types (improvised explosive device, the MacGyver-homemade bombs) since it adds to the combustion. Professional high explosive packs its own chemical oxydizers mixed in, so added O2 wouldn't imrove the explosion much, but might increase the collateral damage by increasing the burn rate of surrounding debris. Also, hello, my 1st new post this year!

2009-Mar-25, 05:12 AM
I believe oxygen fusion would work quite well, but it requires much higher pressure and temperatures than a hydrogen fusion device. I'm not sure whether the current methods of initiating fusion would need modification to fuse hydrogen.