A cold fusion weapon was a nuclear weapon developed by incorporating alien technology to trigger a fusion reaction that resulted in the release of massive amounts of energy. None of the devices seen in Independence Day: Resurgence were mounted on missiles, instead requiring delivery by a bomber.
By incorporating low energy nuclear reactions, it is presumed that the initiation of the chain is more streamlined than in the fission reaction required to trigger both classic atomic and thermonuclear bombs. The weapon's blast radius, according to General Joshua Adams, is wide enough to cover an area extending from Lincoln County, Nevada (home to Area 51) to Houston, Texas (1,516.4 miles) and enough force to obliterate the Queen's ship. It is also implied by Joshua Adams's reaction to the proposal of utilizing cold fusion bombs that the weapons were untested and intended to only be used as a last resort.
Cold fusion bombs were first field used during the War of 2016, when used in a retaliatory strike against the Harvester Mothership. However, the first attempt was neutralized when the aliens dispatched drones that attached to the bombs and contained them in an artificial shield bubble as soon as ESD bombers entered the Mothership, containing the explosions and destroying the bombers.
Four cold fusion bombs were later use again in a trap to eliminate the Harvester Queen; the warheads were loaded in a space tug that served as a decoy replicating the radio frequency emitted by the Sphere, fooling the Queen into allowing the tug entry into the Queen's personal ship. The resulting explosion was contained through the use of energy shield generators provided from Area 51. The bombs were then manually detonated by Thomas Whitmore, succeeding in destroying the ship but not the Harvester Queen, who was wearing her own shielding device.
Behind the scenes
- The concept of cold fusion or LENR was first posited during the 1980s, when excess heat was reported in experiments involving the transmutation of the elements nickel and hydrogen into copper. However, a series of failed replications resulted in it being discarded by physicists at large. The field underwent a revival during the 2010s, when some researchers became involved in a race for commercialization. In terms of weaponization, the concept behind cold fusion bombs is the same as in the hypothetical pure fusion weapon. The main difference being the triggering mechanism, replacing the need to start a hot fusion reaction (which involves extreme temperatures and requires expensive and large equipment to trigger, representing a series of problems for miniaturization) with an alternative that can be initiated at room temperature (reducing both costs and size).