Glossary of terms

The Precarious Evolution of the Atom Bomb


This is the small dense region at the centre of the atom, containing protons and neutrons


Not be confused with weight, this is a measure of how much matter is contained within an object

Fission fragements

The less heavy elements that are produced after the fission reaction. In the case of the fission of U-236, the fission fragments are Kr-92 and Ba-141

Chain reaction

This occurs when one single nuclear reaction causes an avergae of one or more subsequent nuclear reactions, meaning the reaction could possibly become self-propagating.


Fissile material

This is material that has the ability to perform a fission reaction. it is sutibly unstbale that with the addition of another neutron, the atomic nucleus will split into lgihter fragments.

Strong nuclear force

One of the four fundamental forces of nature (the other being, gravity, electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force). it is an attractive force that holds protons and neutrons together, and overcomes the force of repulsion between the protons of the same charge.

Binding energy

The minimum quantity of energy it would take for the nucleus to be disassembled into its component parts.


An isotope is one or more species of a atom that has the same number of protons within it (hence is the same chemical element) but has a different number of neutrons, so the mass of the atom is different.

Kilotons / Megatons

Units of measurement that correspond respectively to 100,000 and 1,000,000 tons of TNT exploding. TNT stands for Trinitrotoluene and is a nitrogen based chemical that is used as the standard measurement for explosive power. 1 tonne (1000 kg) of TNT equals a release of around 4 x 109 J of energy  

Enriched Uranium

This is a type of Uranium that has an increased composition of U-235 (which is highly fissile Uranium isotope used in atomic bombs) via the industrial process of isotope separation.


When an atom loses (usually) one of its orbiting electrons, it becomes ionised and the atom no longer has a neutral charge as there are. more positively charged protons than negatively charged electrons.

Stratosphere / Troposphere

The Troposphere is the bottom layer of the Earth’s atmosphere where nearly all weather conditions takes place. The Stratosphere is the layer above this zone and contains the ozone layer.

The Advancement of Modern Missile Technology


The study of the properties of moving air and the interaction between air and solid bodies moving through it.

Projectile Motion

A form of motion experienced by an object that is projected near the Earth’s surface and moves along a curved path under the action of gravity only.


An instrument for measuring the acceleration of a moving or vibrating body 


Intersecting or lying at right angles.


The technique of finding a function, the derivative of which is equal to a given function. (In the case of this article, the given function is acceleration, and the function to be found is velocity)


A symmetrical open curve formed by the intersection of a circular cone with a plane at a smaller angle with its axis than the side of the cone.

The Radar Revolution

Electric field

A region in which a charged particle will experience a force.

Magnetic Field

A region in which a moving charged particle will experience a force.

Electromagnetic Wave

A wave consisting of electric and magnetic fields travelling at right angles to the direction of travel and to each other.

Centripetal Force

A force directed towards the centre of a circle, causing the object in which the force is acting on to move in a circle.

Tizzard Mission

An infamous British mission with the goal of sharing recently developed technology ,capable of application to warfare, with the United States.