Weapons of Mass Destruction

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615306879
  • Publisher: Britannica Educational Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/15/2011
  • Series: Britannica Guide to War Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 15 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction x

Chapter 1 Nuclear Weapons: Their Principles and Effects 1

Principles of Atomic (Fission) Weapons 4

The Fission Process 4

The Critical Mass and the Fissile Core 6

Gun Assembly, Implosion, and Boosting 6

Principles of Thermonuclear (Fusion) Weapons 8

The Fusion Process 9

Basic Two-Stage Design 9

Enhanced Designs 10

The Effects of Nuclear Weapons 12

Blast 13

Thermal Radiation 13

Initial Radiation 14

Residual Radiation and Fallout 15

Nuclear Winter 15

Electromagnetic Pulse 16

Chapter 2 The United States: The First Nuclear Power 19

The First Atomic Bombs 19

Discovery of Nuclear Fission 20

Producing a Controlled Chain Reaction 20

Founding the Manhattan Project 22

Robert Oppenheimer 23

Selecting a Weapon Design 25

Racing to Build the Bombs 25

The Weapons Are Used 26

The First Hydrogen Bombs 28

Origins of the "Super" 28

Edward Teller 29

Policy Differences, Technical Problems 31

The Teller-Ulam Configuration 32

The Weapons Are Tested 33

Bikini Atoll 36

Further Refinements 37

Chapter 3 The Other Nuclear Powers 39

The United Kingdom 40

Atomic Weapons 40

Thermonuclear Weapons 42

The British Deterrent Force 43

The Soviet Union 43

Atomic Weapons 43

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg 45

Thermonuclear Weapons 46

Andrey Sakharov 47

France 49

China 50

India 51

Pakistan 54

A.Q. Khan 55

Israel 56

South Africa 57

North Korea 58

Other Countries 59

Taiwan 60

Argentina and Brazil 60

Libya 60

Iraq 61

Iran 62

Chapter 4 Nuclear Strategy During the Cold War 64

The Automic Bombay and American Strategic Thought 65

Massive Retaliation 66

John Foster Dulles 67

First and Second Strikes 69

Mutual Assured Destruction 70

Alternatives to Assured Destruction 71

Flexible Response 75

Chapter 5 Nuclear: Strategy Through the End of the Cold War 77

Limited Nuclear War 77

Henry Kissinger 78

Conventional Strategy 83

After the Cold War 86

Chapter 6 Biological Weapons 92

Biological Warfare Agents 93

Anthrax 93

Defence Against Biological Weapons 95

Military Defense 95

Civil Defense 96

Biological Weapons in History 98

Pre-20th-Century Use of Biological Weapons 98

Biological Weapons in the World Wars 98

Biological Weapons in the Cold War 99

Yellow Rain 100

Biological Weapons Profiliferation 100

Biological Terrorism 101

Chapter 7 Chemical Weapons 103

Types of Chemical Weapons 103

Chemical Agents 104

Agent Orange 107

Properties of Chemical Weapons 108

Defense Against Chemical Weapons 108

Weapons 108

On the Battlefield 109

In Civilian Defense 110

Chemical Weapons in History 111

Antiquity 111

As Weapons of Mass Destruction 111

Banning Chemical Weapons 114

Proliferation and Detection of Chemical Weapons Programs 115

Chemical Weapons Proliferation 116

Detection of Clandestine Programs 116

Chemical Weapons and Terrorism 117

Chapter 8 Arms Control and Disarmament 119

Early Efforts 120

Arms-Control Agreements During the Cold War 120

The Cuban Missile Crisis 122

After the Cold War 124

Major Arms-Control Treates 125

The Nuclear Test-Ban Threaty 125

The Outer Space Treaty 127

The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty 127

The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks 129

The ABM Treaty 130

The INF Treaty 131

The Strategic Arms Reduction Talks 133

The Biological Weapons Conventions 136

The Chemical Weapons Convention 138

Conclusion 141

Glossary 142

Bibliography 144

Index 149

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