||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (December 2013)|
|Test site||Semipalatinsk Test Site, Kazakh SSR|
|Number of tests||1|
|Test type||Atmospheric Test|
|Max. yield||Total yield 1.6 megatons of TNT (6.7 PJ)|
RDS-37 was the Soviet Union's first "true" (staged) hydrogen bomb, first tested on November 22, 1955. The weapon had a nominal yield of approximately 3 megatons. It was scaled down to 1.6 megatons for the live test.
It was a multi-stage thermonuclear device which utilized radiation implosion called Sakharov's "Third Idea" in the USSR (the Teller–Ulam design in the USA). It utilized a dry lithium deuteride fusion fuel, with some of it replaced with a "passive material" to reduce its total yield. Despite this reduction in yield, because the weapon exploded under an inversion layer much of its shock wave was focused back downward at the ground unexpectedly, causing a building in Kurchatov to collapse and kill three people, including a young girl.
It was air-dropped at Semipalatinsk Test Site, Kazakhstan, making it the first air-dropped two-stage thermonuclear test. The RDS-6s device (Joe-4) exploded in 1953 was labeled as a "hydrogen bomb" as well but was more similar to a "boosted" fission bomb than a megaton range hydrogen bomb.
Video footages of the RDS-37 are often confused with video footages of the Tsar Bomba, although they can be quite similar. RDS-37 footage have the explosion moved to the center, and Tsar Bomba footage have the explosion moved to the right (except for the mushroom cloud footage, which is in the center). In addition, the RDS-37 test occurred in the Semipalatinsk test area, and some of the footage looks at it across the roofs of the secret city of Kurchatov, aka Semipalatinsk-16. The Tsar occurred over the Arctic polar desert island of Novaya Zemlya, with no similar population centers within hundreds of kilometers at that time.
- Soviet atomic bomb project
- Ivy Mike (first US hydrogen bomb)
- Castle Bravo (first US staged dry-fuel design)
- David Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy 1939-1956 (Yale University Press, 1995), ISBN 0-300-06664-3
- Alexei Kojevnikov, Stalin's Great Science: The Times and Adventures of Soviet Physicists (Imperial College Press, 2004), ISBN 1-86094-420-5
- Richard Rhodes, Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb (Simon and Schuster, 1995), ISBN 0-684-80400-X
|This article related to weaponry is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|