A megaton is a unit of energy approximately equivalent to the energy released in the detonation of 1,000,000 tons of TNT.
Units of mass
In physics, mass (from Greek μᾶζα "barley cake, lump [of dough]") is a property of a physical system or body, giving rise to the phenomena of the body's resistance to being accelerated by a force and the strength of its mutual gravitational attraction with other bodies. Instruments such as mass balances or scales use those phenomena to measure mass. The SI unit of mass is the kilogram (kg).
For everyday objects and energies well-described by Newtonian physics, mass has also been said to represent an amount of matter, but this view breaks down, for example, at very high speeds or for subatomic particles. Holding true more generally, any body having mass has an equivalent amount of energy, and all forms of energy resist acceleration by a force and have gravitational attraction; the term matter has no universally-agreed definition under this modern view.
Nuclear weapon design
TNT equivalent is a method of quantifying the energy released in explosions. The "ton of TNT" is a unit of energy equal to 4.184 gigajoules, which is approximately the amount of energy released in the detonation of one metric ton of TNT. The "megaton of TNT" is a unit of energy equal to 4.184 petajoules.
The kiloton and megaton of TNT have traditionally been used to rate the energy output, and hence destructive power, of nuclear weapons (see nuclear weapon yield). This unit is written into various nuclear weapon control treaties, and gives a sense of destructiveness as compared with ordinary explosives, like TNT. More recently, it has been used to describe the energy released in other highly destructive events, such as asteroid impacts. However, TNT is not the most energetic of conventional explosives. Dynamite, for example, has about 60% more energy density (approximately 7.5 MJ/kg, compared to about 4.7 MJ/kg for TNT).
Nuclear weapon yield
Nuclear weapon designs are physical, chemical, and engineering arrangements that cause the physics package of a nuclear weapon to detonate. There are four basic design types. In all except the last, the explosive energy of deployed devices is derived primarily from nuclear fission, not fusion.
Pure fission weapons historically have been the first type to be built by a nation state. Large industrial states with well-developed nuclear arsenals have two-stage thermonuclear weapons, which are the most compact, scalable, and cost effective option once the necessary industrial infrastructure is built.
The explosive yield of a nuclear weapon is the amount of energy discharged when a nuclear weapon is detonated, expressed usually in TNT equivalent (the standardized equivalent mass of trinitrotoluene which, if detonated, would produce the same energy discharge), either in kilotons (kt; thousands of tons of TNT) or megatons (Mt; millions of tons of TNT), but sometimes also in terajoules (1 kiloton of TNT = 4.184 TJ). Because the precise amount of energy released by TNT is and was subject to measurement uncertainties, especially at the dawn of the nuclear age, the accepted convention is that one kt of TNT is simply defined to be 1012 calories equivalent, this being very roughly equal to the energy yield of 1,000 tons of TNT.
The yield-to-weight ratio is the amount of weapon yield compared to the mass of the weapon. The theoretical maximum yield-to-weight ratio for fusion weapons (thermonuclear weapons) is 6 megatons of TNT per metric ton of bomb mass (25 TJ/kg).]citation needed[ Yields of 5.2 megatons/ton and higher have been reported for large weapons constructed for single-warhead use in the early 1960s. Since this time, the smaller warheads needed to achieve the increased net damage efficiency (bomb damage/bomb weight) of multiple warhead systems, has resulted in decreases in the yield/weight ratio for single modern warheads.
Units of energy
A petaton is a unit of mass that is equal to 1,000 teratons. It can also used as a unit of energy equivalent to 1×1015 (one million billion) tons of TNT. This latter use is usually restricted to astronomical events such as meteor impacts or large science fiction weapons.
The energy released by the explosion of one petaton of TNT, 4.18×1024 joules, is equivalent to the energy of an earthquake of magnitude 12 on the Richter Scale, or to the energy of a 60 km rocky meteorite impacting the earth at 25 km/s.]citation needed[
Because energy is defined via work, the SI unit for energy is the same as the unit of work – the joule (J), named in honour of James Prescott Joule and his experiments on the mechanical equivalent of heat. In slightly more fundamental terms, 1 joule is equal to 1 newton-metre and, in terms of SI base units
An energy unit that is used in atomic physics, particle physics and high energy physics is the electronvolt (eV). One eV is equivalent to J−191.60217653×10. In spectroscopy the unit cm−1 = 0.000123986 eV is used to represent energy since energy is inversely proportional to wavelength from the equation .