Saturday, 30 October 2010
Learning to love the bomb
Those tempted to say either Little Boy or Fat Man - the name of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively at the close of World War II would be wrong, although these (thankfully) continue be the only time such weapons have been used in warfare. Other test detonations have also outstripped the power of these early atomic weapons.
The title instead goes to the Tsar Bomba, which was dropped by the Soviet Union over the uninhabited Arctic Novaya Zemlya archipelago on 30th October 1961.With a blast yield of 50 megatons it created a zone of total destruction of over 20 miles - enough to obliterate almost any city on Earth. The potential lethality of such a weapon runs into millions.
It's scary to think that so much of human endeavour has been dedicated towards the destruction of fellow members of the same species. The fact that so many can be killed at the whim of our leaders is a chilling reminder that scientific advancement has not always been for the good of us all.