The Zar bomb (Zar of the bombs; Russian Zar Bomba) is the strongest ever ignited hydrogen bomb. The detonation is considered as the largest explosion ever caused by humans at all.
The bomb was ignited on 30 October 1961 around 11:32 clock Muscovite time over the test area in the Mitjuschikabucht on the island Nowaja Semlja. The bomb was dropped a Tupolev Tu-95-Bomber into over 10,000 meters height and braked by a parachute, in order to give to the airplane sufficiently time to leave the test area. The explosion took place at a value of approx. 4,000 m. The fire ball concerned the ground, the atomic mushroom reached at short notice a height of approx. 64 km; the stable final height might have amounted to between 40 and 50 km.
The explosive yield of the bomb amounted to - depending upon source - 50 to 60 megatons TNT equivalent and was thereby more as 3,800 times more strongly than the Hiroshima bomb Little Boy, whose explosive yield on approximately 13 kilotons becomes estimated. It was also about four to five times more strongly than "the Castle Bravo "- bomb of the Americans, who were their most effective atomic test.
"The Zar bomb "was conceived original even for an explosive yield from 100 to 150 megatons, lost however, by the renouncement of a coat from fissile material, its last fission stage and thus at least 50% of this possible kill potential. For the radioactive fall out substantially the responsible person fission portion amounted to 3%, the remainder of the energy by comparatively fall out-poor nuclear fusion was thus only produced. Thus this bomb to "the cleanest "ever assigned atom bomb, based on their explosive yield. A test of the complete version would have increased the world-wide radioactive load by atomic tests by approx. 25%.
The bomb weighed 27 tons, was eight meters long and two meters wide and unfolded such a destructive power that their technical designer became Andrei Sakharov over it the Dissidenten. Militarily this bomb, among other things due to their high weight, was however useless and as pure power demonstration in the course of the cold war conceived.
A large challenge with the construction of this bomb was also the production of a parachute, which carried the 27 tons heavy bomb after the release. As materials here among other things synthetic equivalents of spider silk were used. The bomb was developed and built within only 14 weeks, after Khrushchev the project had abgesegnet on 10 July 1961.
The United States the explosive yield of the Zar bomb on 57 MT TNT equivalent estimated short time after the test. This number remained 30 years long in the circulation and both by western and by Soviet sources was quoted.
In its memoirs Kruschtschow deliberates itself 1974 (page 71): "Our scientists computed in the apron that Kraft the bomb would equal 50 million tons TNT. That was theoretical. Actually it turned out that the explosion was to 57 million tons ". All Russian sources use the number of 50 MT nevertheless since 1991, not 57.
The indication of 57 MT, defined by the USA, is based on its own measurements and calculations. If this number should be correct, this difference would not be more expected explosive yield an unusual deviation actually occurred of 14% between estimated and. For example the estimations varied a difference of 25% for the strength of the Hiroshima bomb of 12 to 16 kT. The disproportion of forecast and actual explosive yield was still larger with the explosion of the solid H bomb Castle Bravo (the strongest ever nuclear weapon ignited of the USA). This was accepted with approximately 15 MT about two and a half times as highly as original.
The reason, why the Soviets could have used this higher foreign estimation, instead of it to correct with the true, lower number, is obvious. The test was meant as spectacular demonstration of Soviet abilities.
The specific expression for the coherent propagation of the shock wave, which went three times around the globe, reads Spreading. Through the immense eruption the first impulse went through the earth and was measurable even on the earth side opposite of the test area, this means a reciprocal effect of the two hemispheres during high-dimensioned energy development. It concerns thereby the strongest antropogene geo activity, which was ever caused. The third shock wave was however only measurable with highly sensitive instruments.
According to statements of US military was not this nuclear weapon test the only one in this order of magnitude.
A cubic meter TNT weighs 1650 kg. If one wanted to achieve the same explosion effect of the Zar bomb with conventional explosive, then one would have to ignite theoretically a cube TNT of 326 meters of edge length (= 34.5 millions m