TNT equivalent

Diagram of explosive yield vs mushroom cloud height, illustrating the difference between 22 kiloton Fat Man and 15 megaton Castle Bravo explosions[citation needed]

TNT equivalent is a convention for expressing energy, typically used to describe the energy released in an explosion. The "ton of TNT" is a unit of energy defined by that convention to be 4.184 gigajoules,[1] which is the approximate energy released in the detonation of a metric ton (1,000 kilograms or one megagram) of TNT. In other words, for each gram of TNT exploded, 4,184 joules (or one large calorie = 1,000 calories) of energy are released.

This convention intends to compare the destructiveness of an event with that of traditional explosive materials, of which TNT is a typical example, although other conventional explosives such as dynamite contain more energy.

Kiloton and megaton

The "kiloton (of TNT)" is a unit of energy equal to 4.184 terajoules.

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 describe the energy output, and hence the destructive power, of a nuclear weapon. The TNT equivalent appears in various nuclear weapon control treaties, and has been used to characterize the energy released in such other highly destructive events as an asteroid impact.[2]

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