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Analysis of the Atomic Bomb
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Those that were at a distance of ninety-seven hundredths of a kilometer from the hypocenter received third degree burns (International Physicains for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 1982). Ninety-five percent of the burns created from the thermal radiation were by flash burns, and only five percent of the burns were by flame burns. The reason for this low number of flame burns is that only two to ten percent of the buildings caught on fire (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 1982). By combining the damage from both the flash and flame burns one can begin to see the effects that an atomic bomb’s thermal radiation had. Approximately sixty thousand in Hiroshima, and approximately forty-one thousand people were either killed or injured from the thermal radiation (The
Committee for the Compliation of Materials on Damage Caused by the Atomic Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1981).
The final effect that an atomic bomb caused is the nuclear radiation produced from the fission process. The cuclear radiation comes in the form of either Gamma rays or Beta particles. Gamma rays
are electromagnetic radiation originating in the atomic nuclei, physically identical to x-rays. They can enter into living tissue extremely easily. Beta particles are negatively charged particles, identical to an electron moving at a high velocity (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 1982). These forms of nuclear radiation are measured in rads (radiation-absorbed-dose), which is defined as teh absorption of five ten millionths joule per gram of abosorbing material (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 1982). During the initial nuclear radiation mostly Gamma rays are emitted from the fireball. This period of initial nuclear radiation lasts for approximately one minute. During the residual nuclear period (fallout) the Beta particles and more of the Gamma rays are emitted. The residual radiation has two stages: early fallout and delayed fallout. In early fallout, the heavyand highly radioactive particles fall back to the earth, usually within the first twenty-four hours. In delayed
fallout, the tiny and often invisible particles fall back to the earth, and usually last from a couple od days to several years (Physicians and Scientists on Nuclear War, 1981 and World Book, 1990). The nuclear radiation from the atomic bomb’s explosion was not the main cause of death, but it did still have serious results.
In Hiroshima, the initial nuclear radiation was spread over a distance of approximately fifty-three hundredths of a kilometer.