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How The Hiroshima Bomb Flattened A City In 43 Seconds Killing 80,000

Simon Catling

| Last updated 

How The Hiroshima Bomb Flattened A City In 43 Seconds Killing 80,000

You're probably au fait with the tale of an atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II. Less familiar, however, are the details of how it managed to instantly kill 80,000 people in just 43 seconds - which are explained in a sobering TikTok video. Watch below:


The date of 6 August 1945 is still etched into the memory of the world after the USA detonated the first ever nuclear bomb to instantly end the war with Japan and cause widespread devastation that took the country years to recover from.

Now a video clip posted by TikTok user @hazzahistory21 has explained the mechanics that allowed the weapon to cause such an impact.

A narrator says that the bomb exploded at about 1,900 feet off the ground, having been released from the US plane flying over the Japanese city.

As explained in the clip: "Inside the bomb, a controlled explosion created with high explosives propelled a sub-critical mass of uranium 235 down a long tube, similar to the barrel of a gun, where it collided with a second sub-critical mass of uranium 235.

"The collision triggered a nuclear fission chain reaction which detonated the bomb."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

A fission occurs when atoms split into smaller pieces, causing a cast-off bit of matter called a neutron which collides with other pieces of the atom.

As the atom splits, it releases energy, continuing the process, and creating more energy. These fissions are controlled in Nuclear Power Stations, but in atomic bombs they are not - hence its destructive power.

The narrator then moves onto the quite eye-watering figures that explained both the power and visual aspect of the bomb's impact.

"It detonated with the same force as 15,000 tonnes of TNT forming a mushroom cloud about 60,000 feet tall and releasing radiation into the air," the voiceover continues.

"The explosion resulted in a flash of blinding light followed by intense heat, killing an estimated 80,000 people instantly and destroying nearly every building within one mile of the epicentre."

That was merely the beginning of the suffering, though, with the narrator adding: "Fires caused by the explosion's intense heat lasted for days destroying more than a four square mile area from the epicentre."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

To sum up the video, the atomic bomb was essentially created using Einstein's formula of E=MC squared.

This means that matter equals energy which means each can be transferred to one another. For example, water being heated up to turn into steam. This is essentially the reaction that was caused by the uranium contained within the bomb in 1945.

Scientists used just 600 milligrams of Uranium to create the explosion.

The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was the first of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the US within four days of each other, with an even larger device destroying Nagasaki on August 9.

Given the long-term effects of radiation on the area that lasted for years after it's impossible to gauge the precise numbers of people killed across the two blasts but estimates put it between 129,000 and 226,000 people.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Science, History, TikTok

Simon Catling
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