if i detonate 2 seperate 50 megaton nuclear bombs at the same time, will it be just as effective as 100 megaton one ?


Is it just as simple as 50+50=100 or is there something to it?

In: 2

Pretty much.

Think of it as gas in a fuel tank. Two cars that have 50L of fuel in its tank will cover the same number of combined distance as a single car running on 100L of fuel.

The energy output is the same. How the energy is used though can be vastly different.

Energy usage can be compared to where the two cars are able to reach with 50L in comparison to a car that has 100L. Two cars can move in 2 different directions covering different plains. A single car can only cover one direction but longer distances.

If you have them distanced from each other you could have areas of superposition of waves and so have bands of even higher damage, and parts with much lower damage.

In theory yes. If you think of how you can bundle sticks of dynamite together to make a larger bomb the same is true for nuclear bombs as well. However there is a much larger damage potential in two 50 megaton bombs if you manage to place them a bit apart from each other. A lot of energy in a 100 megaton bomb will end up causing damage at ground zero. An are which will likely be saturated with damage beyond what is needed. By placing the two 50 megaton bombs some distance apart the energy will be more evenly distributed over an area. So it will likely cause more damage. They can even work together putting more energy into the intersection between them then could be done by one alone. You can see some of this effect in mining explosions. They tend to drill hundreds of holes and fill each hole with a tiny bit of explosives so that the entire mountainside can be blown up all at once. Nuclear bombs were experimentally used for this as well with great success, completing huge digging projects which would have taken months in just a few weeks using a handful of nuclear bombs.

It depends on what you mean by “effective” and how you imagine detonating them.

If you mean, “I have two 100 megaton bombs stacked nearly on top of each other, and I very precisely detonate them within the same amount of time, so that both are able to release their maximum explosive power without one destroying the other,” then yeah, you’ve basically got a single 100 megaton explosion. The tricky part would be figuring out exactly how to detonate them so that one doesn’t destroy the other before it can release its energy. With something of that size it might just be making sure that their fireballs won’t touch until they are already well under development — which for those bombs gives you a lot of latitude (since the fireball radius is like 5 miles). What you’re asking is how to constructively make these explosions combine with each other; the main issue is making sure they both go off fully. Whether that is easy or hard isn’t clear to me from just thinking about it, but one could probably do some back-of-the-envelope calculations about what the minimum separation distance between the two charges, and a minimum simultaneity in detonating them, that you would need to keep one from destroying or interfering with the other. Thermonuclear weapons of this size are already essentially simultaneous bombs within bombs (the Tsar Bomba, according to [some Russian sources](https://thebulletin.org/2021/11/the-untold-story-of-the-worlds-biggest-nuclear-bomb/), used two “primary” fission bombs to detonate a single large “secondary” fusion charge, which is certainly unusual but not impossible to imagine), so the concept is already sort of basic to how these weapons work (multiple nuclear explosions adding up into one big one), but the timing is important.

If you mean, “is the destructive power against a target the same for two 50 megaton bombs versus a single 100 megaton bomb,” the answer is no, there are some differences. It depends on what you are trying to destroy, but for certain applications (like destroying cities) two 50 megaton bombs would be _more_ impressive than a single 100 megaton bomb, because blast and thermal damage do not scale linearly with yield, so a 100 megaton bomb is “wasting” some of its destructive power by concentrating it all in once place. (This is one reason why weapons of this size were not developed in great numbers though the technology to do so is not harder than making nukes of lower — but still large — yields. They are just not that effective as weapons, compared to larger quantities of lower-yield weapons. [This illustration from 1961 illustrates the concept well](https://thebulletin.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/1961-11-Life-Magazine-Superbomb-more-Bluff-than-Bang.jpg.webp). You can use [NUKEMAP](https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/) to see for yourself.)