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What is a nuclear fizzle?

  1. Feb 5, 2010 #1
    The first tests of North-Korean nuclear bombs were reported to be "just a nuclear fizzle".
    What does that mean?
    Was the reaction speed to slow to create an explosion?
    Where is the difference between an efficient chain reaction (resulting in an explosion) an a fizzle?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2010 #2

    bcrowell

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    Dunno for sure, but I'd suspect that it refers to a case where a chain reaction is initiated, but the fissionables blow apart before the reaction can run to completion.
     
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