Live Science: Why do nuclear bombs form mushroom clouds?
What forms this iconic shape?
When a bomb goes off, energy is shot out indiscriminately in all directions. So, instead of an expanding ball of fire, why do nuclear explosions result in mushroom clouds?
Although the outburst of energy does initially form a sphere of hot air, that’s only the beginning of the story, according to Katie Lundquist, a researcher of computational engineering at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. Because hot air rises, the larger bulk of the sphere in the middle column — where the core of an apple would be — experiences more buoyancy than the edges do.
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WNU Editor: This is one of those things that I hope I never see or experience in my lifetime.