P3 10 An Alkali Metal Water Bomb

Lois Brewer, Ethan Bates, Tommy Sadler, Kennedy Smith


When exposed to water, alkali metals react violently with water to produce a metal hydroxide and hydrogen. Here, we will explore how much energy is released in a typical reaction, and find out how much lithium and water are needed to release the energy equivalent of ‘Gadget’; an atomic bomb dropped in the Nevada Desert in 1945, as part of the ‘Trinity’ project [1]. We find that the total mass of this lithium-water bomb would be around 9.01 ×10^9g.

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