View Full Version : 1st US Hydrogen Bomb Code-Named "MIKE" - WHY???

May 10th, 2006, 07:28 PM
Does anyone know why the 1st US test detonation of a hydrogen "bomb" was code-named "MIKE"?

No joke, this is a serious inquiry ...

From PBS (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/bomb/peopleevents/pandeAMEX63.html) :

On November 1, 1952 the United States detonated a hydrogen device in the Pacific that vaporized an entire island, leaving behind a crater more than a mile wide. The test, code-named "Mike" was the first successful implementation of the concept for a superbomb that physicist Edward Teller and mathematician Stanislaw Ulam had outlined in a report a year and a half earlier. A team of scientists assigned the task of turning the Ulam-Teller concept into an experimental device, met for the first time in October 1951. They achieved the designated goal, one that required a tremendous engineering effort, in little more than a year.

May 10th, 2006, 08:10 PM
In 1950, the program to develop a hydrogen bomb was called Operation Ivy. It wasn't certain at that time that a thermonuclear device was feasible, so there were two parallel projects:

Ivy Mike: development of a hydrogen bomb. The M stands for megaton. The yield was 10.4 megatons; the fireball was three miles wide.

Ivy King: development of the highest yield fission bomb. The K stands for kiloton. Yield was 500 kilotons.

Other than that, the names are purposely meaningless, like Omaha Beach.