Talk:Tonne of TNT

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Which ton? Metric, short or long? -- SJK

Metric; figured as 1 Mg at 1000 small calories per gram, so one ton of TNT = 4.184 GJ and a megaton of TNT = 4.184 PJ.
Caveat: Except in World Book Encyclopedia, where the editors take measurements in the normal tons of TNT, stick an erroneous adjective "short" in front of them, and then convert them to "metric tons of TNT" and those phantom units would then be equivalent to about 4.61 GJ. Gene Nygaard 03:58, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It doesn't matter, because it is now defined in terms of the energy value in Joules (I think). -- The Anome

What unit was it originally defined in terms of? And what unit does "ton" refer to in 1000000 tons? (If the difference in the size of the units is too small to make much of a difference, note that.) Also, sorry about being horribly pedantic, but by calorie you mean 15 degree Celsius calories, right? Because there are several different types of calories (15 degree, International Table, dieticians)... which is one reason why I hate calories and wish everyone would just use joules instead :) -- SJK

I'm not sure who the keeper of the megaton is - the DoD definition would be the one to use, but I can't yet dig up a cite -- The Anome

Ok, try this, from The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, 3rd ed., compiled and edited by Samuel Glasstone and Philip J. Dolan, prepared and published by the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D. C., 1977.

(see to find original at

Megaton Energy: Defined strictly as 1015 cal-ories (or 4.2 x 1022 ergs). This is approximately the amount of energy that would be re-leased by the explosion of 1,000 kt (1 million tons) of TNT.

-- The Anome

The metric unit is the tonne. -- Samuraise

point to note: short ton == ton is 2000 lb, metric tonne is 1000 kg; 2000 lb = 907.18474 kg,

so 1 tonne / 1 ton = 1.10, ie the point is that a tonne differs from a ton by only 10%, so in most estimates it probably doen't matter which you're thinking of.

The article lists the megatons of the biggest nuclear bomb ever exploded; I'd be interested in the megatons of the biggest nuclear bombs currently on stock. AxelBoldt 21:00, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Look at [1] for the 10 models the US currently uses (as of 1997). Only two of them seem to use warheads which are individually in the megaton range (the 9 Mt B53 mod 1 and the 1.2 Mt B83). The trend in US weapons since the 1970s was to use multiple, "smaller" (300 kt) warheads which could be delivered by ICBMs or SLBMs, rather than big megaton monsters which can only be delivered by long-range bombers (and had limited strategic benefit). --Fastfission 08:31, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Why does kiloton redirect here but there is no discussion of it? Considering that most nuclear weapons are in the kiloton range, it ought to have its own article, or at least some mention in this article which it redirects to. --Fastfission 08:31, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)


It said " A magnitude 8.0 earthquake releases an energy 1000 megatons of TNT. [2] ( Another example, the quake of magnitude 9.0 off west coast of northern Sumatra,... 475 megatons) of TNT ... (" Does not compute. How can an 8 be 1000 megatons, and a 9 be only 475? I search in vain as the offered reference, and can't find the claim 8 => 1000 megaton. So I eliminate it.


How can one grm of TNT produce 1000 kilo calories? Let's calculate: the burning of one gram would release 1000000 calories. This would heat 1000000/100= 10000 grams of water to a temperature of 100 degreeas celsius from 0 degrees celcius. This is 10 liters of water heated by 100 degrees? Are you guys crazy? That much energy can not be released from 1 gram of TNT! Could somebody double check the main article?--BorisFromStockdale 18:14, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Never mind, I am on crack (fighure of speach)...--BorisFromStockdale 18:16, 28 May 2006 (UTC)