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[[File:Nuclear fireball.jpg|thumb|An angel just got its wings!]]
[[File:Nuclear fireball.jpg|thumb|An angel just got its wings!]]
[[File:Binding_energy.jpg|thumb|The curve of binding energy]]
[[File:crosssection.gif|thumb|Fission cross-sections vs neutron energies]]
[[File:crosssection.gif|thumb|Fission cross-sections vs neutron energies]]
[[File:Binding_energy.jpg|thumb|The curve of binding energy]]
[[File:Nubar.gif|thumb|Nubars vs neutron energies]]
[[File:inittwo.jpg|thumb|Be/Po initiator schematic]]
[[File:inittwo.jpg|thumb|Be/Po initiator schematic]]
[[File:B-61_bomb_(DOE).jpg|thumb|Disassembled B-61 (DOE)]]
[[File:B-61_bomb_(DOE).jpg|thumb|Disassembled B-61 (DOE)]]
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<tt>(12:08:06 PM) elizabeth warren: that'll get you on a list or three</tt>
<tt>(12:08:06 PM) elizabeth warren: that'll get you on a list or three</tt>


Getting started in nuclear hobbyism is easier (and more fun!) than you likely think. ''WarGames'' taught us that computers and nuclear weapons are more interesting than dogs, parents, or Ally Sheedy (and more trustworthy than feelings). A computer program is simple interactions, tightly arranged, performed billions of times in the blink of an eye. A nuclear bomb is basically the same thing, but you can only run it once.
Getting started in nuclear hobbyism is easier (and more fun!) than you likely think. ''[[WarGames strategems|WarGames]]'' taught us that computers and nuclear weapons are more interesting than dogs, parents, or Ally Sheedy (and more trustworthy than feelings). A computer program is simple interactions, tightly arranged, performed billions of times in the blink of an eye. A nuclear bomb is basically the same thing, but you can only run it once.


It's true that your modern criticality fetishist has a rough time of things. Since 2001-09-11, great stocks of (unclassified) information have been purged from US government sites. Various fellow travelers (see [[Nuclear weapons#See Also|below]]) maintain partial archives. Relevant conference proceedings (compressed matter physics, etc) get snapped up on used book sites quickly. My recommendations are to follow ''The Making of the Atomic Bomb'' and ''The Los Alamos Primer'' (see [[Nuclear weapons#Books|"Books", below]]) with a few nuclear engineering and physics texts, at which point you'll be well-equipped to daydream about your own neutron initiator ideas and radical implosion symmetries. Don't be afraid to search through Russian papers; once you need to (you'll know when), it's mathematically dense enough that you can follow along. The words are mainly just transitions anyway.
It's true that your modern criticality fetishist has a rough time of things. Since 2001-09-11, great stocks of (unclassified) information have been purged from US government sites. Various fellow travelers (see [[Nuclear weapons#See Also|below]]) maintain partial archives. Relevant conference proceedings (high-density physics, etc) get snapped up on used book sites quickly. My recommendations are to follow ''The Making of the Atomic Bomb'' and ''The Los Alamos Primer'' (see [[Nuclear weapons#Books|"Books", below]]) with a few nuclear engineering and physics texts, at which point you'll be well-equipped to daydream about your own neutron initiator ideas and radical implosion symmetries. Don't be afraid to search through Russian papers; once you need to (you'll know when), they're sufficiently mathematically dense that you can follow along. The words are mainly just transitions anyway.


All is not lost. The boys at LANL and similar places haven't been able to do criticality experiments since the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehensive_Nuclear-Test-Ban_Treaty CTBT's] signing, so it's a level (simulation-only) playing field. Today's supercomputer is tomorrow's slide rule; an HP48GX will certainly get you through spherically symmetric detonations, and a few GPUs form a fine platform for running your own hydrocodes. Relevant shockwave theory, metallurgy and nuclear constants have long existed in the public domain. Neutron sources sufficient to grill <sup>233</sup>U from sheets of <sup>232</sup>Th in one's backyard are advertised in every issue of <i>Nuclear News</i> or <i>Physics Today</i>, while high-quality timing elements can practically be extracted from microwaves. The 2009 recession has left plenty of teenagers unemployed, and you can surely put them to work doing something.
All is not lost. The boys at [http://www.lanl.gov/ LANL] and [http://www.ornl.gov/ similar] [https://www.llnl.gov/ places] haven't been able to do criticality experiments since the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehensive_Nuclear-Test-Ban_Treaty CTBT's] signing, so it's a level ([[Nuclear weapons#Simulation|simulation]]-only) playing field. Today's supercomputer is tomorrow's slide rule; an HP48GX will certainly get you through spherically symmetric detonations, and a few [[CUDA|GPUs]] form a fine platform for running your own hydrocodes. Relevant shockwave theory, metallurgy and nuclear constants have long existed in the public domain. Neutron sources sufficient to grill <sup>233</sup>U from sheets of <sup>232</sup>Th in one's backyard are advertised in every issue of <i>Nuclear News</i> or <i>Physics Today</i> (though watch out for <sup>232</sup>U and attendant hard gammas!), while high-quality timing elements can practically be extracted from microwaves. The 2009 recession has left plenty of teenagers unemployed, and you can surely put them to work doing something.


When the going gets tough, just think to yourself: '''"If South Africa can do it, well dammit, so can I!"'''
When the going gets tough, just think to yourself: '''"If [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vela_Incident South Africa] can do it, well dammit, so can I!"'''
==Basic Physics==
==Basic Physics==
* Energy-mass equivalence - electron-volts - curve of binding energy - energy scales (chemical vs nuclear vs annihilative)
* Energy-mass equivalence - electron-volts - curve of binding energy - energy scales (chemical vs nuclear vs annihilative)
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** Result: for a given isotope, there's a function taking {excitation level X neutron energy} to {first-order fission probability}
** Result: for a given isotope, there's a function taking {excitation level X neutron energy} to {first-order fission probability}
* Electrodynamics - strong nuclear force - weak nuclear force - quantum tunneling
* Electrodynamics - strong nuclear force - weak nuclear force - quantum tunneling
** Thermal neutrons can't classically cross Coulomb repulsions, but tunneling permits π-induced fission (π = pion, aka any of 3 π-mesons)
** π-induced fission (π = pion, aka any of 3 π-mesons)
* Liquid drop model - superdeformation - hyperdeformation - compound nucleus
* Liquid drop model - superdeformation - hyperdeformation - compound nucleus
* Nilsson model - (two-humped) fission barrier - fission isomer
* Nilsson model - (two-humped) fission barrier - fission isomer
* Madland-Nix (Los Alamos) model - Prompt neutron multiplicity distribution P(ν) - prompt fission neutron energy spectrum - TKE
* Madland-Nix (Los Alamos) model - Prompt neutron multiplicity distribution P(ν) - prompt fission neutron energy spectrum - TKE
* Number of neutrons per fission ("nu-bar", <span style="text-decoration: overline">ν</span>) is a function of the fission fragments
** TKE: '''T'''otal '''K'''inetic '''E'''nergy (of fission fragments)
* Number of neutrons per fission ("nu-bar", <span style="text-decoration: overline">ν</span>) is a function of the particular breakup / fission fragments
** ...but can be averaged over inputs. In general, plutonium generates more neutrons than uranium, though <sup>233</sup>U's not bad.
** ...but can be averaged over inputs. In general, plutonium generates more neutrons than uranium, though <sup>233</sup>U's not bad.
 
** "[[:File:Montecarlofission.pdf|Monte Carlo Approach to Sequential Neutron Emission from Fission Fragments]]", LANL 2005
===Reactor Physics/Fuel Cycle===
===Reactor Physics/Fuel Cycle===
* Natural materials available:
* Natural materials available:
** Uranium. Terrestrial uranium ore of this epoch tends toward a 99.284%/0.711%/0.0058% <sup>238</sup>U/<sup>235</sup>U/<sup>234</sup>U split.
** Uranium. Terrestrial uranium ore of this epoch tends toward a 99.284% / 0.711% / 0.0058% <sup>238</sup>U/<sup>235</sup>U/<sup>234</sup>U split.
** Thorium. For all purposes, entirely <sup>232</sup>Th (look at the half-lives).
** Thorium. For all purposes, entirely <sup>232</sup>Th (look at the half-lives).
* No point in breeding up from lower Z's than <sup>232</sup>Th - No meaningful sources of other actinides
* No point in breeding up from lower Z's than <sup>232</sup>Th - No meaningful sources of other actinides
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* W. G. Sutcliffe and T.J. Trapp. eds. "Extraction and Utility of Reactor-Grade Plutonium for Weapons", Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. UCRL-LR-I 15542, 1994 (S/RD).  
* W. G. Sutcliffe and T.J. Trapp. eds. "Extraction and Utility of Reactor-Grade Plutonium for Weapons", Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. UCRL-LR-I 15542, 1994 (S/RD).  
* US DOE "Nonproliferation and Arms Control Assessment of Weapons-Usable Fissile Material Storage and Excess Plutonium Disposition Alternatives", 1997.
* US DOE "Nonproliferation and Arms Control Assessment of Weapons-Usable Fissile Material Storage and Excess Plutonium Disposition Alternatives", 1997.
==Fission Weapons==
==Fission Weapons==
* Criticality - subcritical - supercritical - prompt criticality - critical insertion time - insertion (gun-type) method - spontaneous fission
* Criticality - subcritical - supercritical - prompt criticality - critical insertion time - insertion (gun-type) method - spontaneous fission
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** Safety/reliability of materials/assemblies (Decay of Pu, tritium, polonium, neutron moderation by seawater, fire hazards)
** Safety/reliability of materials/assemblies (Decay of Pu, tritium, polonium, neutron moderation by seawater, fire hazards)
* Prompt neutrons - delayed neutrons - fast neutrons - slow neutrons - neutron reflectors
* Prompt neutrons - delayed neutrons - fast neutrons - slow neutrons - neutron reflectors
* Neutron sources / initator design - Monroe Effect - Beryllium/Polonium urchin - pulsed neutron tubes - shock initators - UD3/TiD2
* Neutron sources / initator design - Munroe Effect - Beryllium/Polonium urchin - pulsed neutron tubes - shock initators - UD3/TiD2
* High explosives - Taylor-Rayleigh instabilities - assembly geometry - neutron multiplications - Rankine-Hugeniot conditions
* High explosives - Taylor-Rayleigh instabilities - assembly geometry - neutron multiplications - Rankine-Hugeniot conditions
* Hydrides (see the <b>Ruth</b> section from [http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Upshotk.html Upshot-Knothole])
* Hydrides (see the <b>Ruth</b> section from [http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Upshotk.html Upshot-Knothole])
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** The additional interactions ('''not''' the reduced speed) take too long, though, and containment is lost
** The additional interactions ('''not''' the reduced speed) take too long, though, and containment is lost
* [http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0510052 "The B61-based Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator: Clever retrofit or headway towards fourth-generation nuclear weapons?"]. Gsponer 2005-11-19.
* [http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0510052 "The B61-based Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator: Clever retrofit or headway towards fourth-generation nuclear weapons?"]. Gsponer 2005-11-19.
==Fusion Weapons and Boosting==
==Fusion Weapons and Boosting==
* Hollow pit - DT infusion - dial-a-yield / FUFO ("full-fusing option") - lithium-deuteride - Li6 - Li7
* Hollow pit - DT infusion - dial-a-yield / FUFO ("full-fusing option") - lithium-deuteride - Li6 - Li7
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* Core boosting - enhanced radiation weapons (neutron bombs) - fissionable jacketing
* Core boosting - enhanced radiation weapons (neutron bombs) - fissionable jacketing
* Pure fusion weapons, clean weapons (non-fissionable jacket)
* Pure fusion weapons, clean weapons (non-fissionable jacket)
==Delivery Systems, Effects, and Defense==
==Engineering/Infrastructure==
* Project Plowshare - Project Orion - Atoms for Peace - Project Rover
* Testing - test detection - treaties
* Criticality accidents - Weapon accidents - Oklo (Gabon) natural reactor
===Delivery Systems, Effects===
* Blast theory - shock front - double flash - optimum delivery altitudes
* Blast theory - shock front - double flash - optimum delivery altitudes
* Miniaturization - MIRV's - penetration aids - neutron fluxes
* Miniaturization - MIRV's - penetration aids - neutron fluxes
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* [http://www.mda.mil/ Missile Defense Agency], with garish [[Flash]] as of 2008.12.27.
* [http://www.mda.mil/ Missile Defense Agency], with garish [[Flash]] as of 2008.12.27.
* Hans Bethe and Freeman Dyson both have some great material in their books; collect it
* Hans Bethe and Freeman Dyson both have some great material in their books; collect it
==Miscellaneous==
===Maintenance/Lifecycle/Robustness===
* Project Plowshare - Project Orion - Atoms for Peace - Project Rover
===Test Detection/Treaty Enforcement===
* Testing - test detection - treaties
===Simulation===
* Criticality accidents - Weapon accidents - Oklo (Gabon) natural reactor
==See Also==
==See Also==
* Carey Sublette's [http://nuclearweaponarchive.org Nuclear Weapon Archive] is peerless and the starting point for any research
* Carey Sublette's [http://nuclearweaponarchive.org Nuclear Weapon Archive] is peerless and the starting point for any research
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* Richard Piccard's [http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~piccard/radnotes/index.html Notes on Ionizing Radiation and Modern Physics]
* Richard Piccard's [http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~piccard/radnotes/index.html Notes on Ionizing Radiation and Modern Physics]
===Blogs===
===Blogs===
* [http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/ Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog] by Alex Wellerstein
* [http://www.armscontrolwonk.com Arms Control Wonk]
* [http://www.armscontrolwonk.com Arms Control Wonk]
* [http://totalwonkerr.com Total WonKerr]
* [http://totalwonkerr.com Total WonKerr]
* [http://glasstone.blogspot.com/ The Effects of Nuclear Weapons] (this one gets a little crazy)
* [http://glasstone.blogspot.com/ The Effects of Nuclear Weapons] (this one gets a little crazy)
* [http://roboteconomist.blogspot.com/ Arms Control Otaku] (no longer active)
* [http://roboteconomist.blogspot.com/ Arms Control Otaku] (no longer active)
===(Unclassified) Books===
 
===Books===
The following textbooks range from introductory to advanced material, and all require some basic physics and associated mathematical sophistication. For obvious reasons, textbooks on actual weapon design, testing, engineering and maintenance are difficult to come across. There's a wide variety of excellent books on political theory of nuclear weapons, which I'm unqualified to rate (update: Kahn's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Thermonuclear-War-Herman-Kahn/dp/141280664X On Thermonuclear War]'' is absolutely required reading). Consult your local university's political science department for more information.
The following textbooks range from introductory to advanced material, and all require some basic physics and associated mathematical sophistication. For obvious reasons, textbooks on actual weapon design, testing, engineering and maintenance are difficult to come across. There's a wide variety of excellent books on political theory of nuclear weapons, which I'm unqualified to rate (update: Kahn's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Thermonuclear-War-Herman-Kahn/dp/141280664X On Thermonuclear War]'' is absolutely required reading). Consult your local university's political science department for more information.
* Dalton Borroso's ''[https://www.amazon.com/PHYSICS-NUCLEAR-EXPLOSIVES-DALTON-BARROSO/dp/B08VRN2ZM5 The Physics of Nuclear Explosives]'' almost makes things too easy.
* Zel'dovich's ''[https://www.amazon.com/Physics-Shock-High-Temperature-Hydrodynamic-Phenomena/dp/0486420027 Physics of Shockwaves and High-Temperature Hydrodynamic Phenomena]'' might be less direct, but covers more material than anything else.
* Hans Bethe's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Bethe-Seminal-Articles-Astronomy/dp/0883184958 Basic Bethe]'' ought be required reading for all people.
* Kenneth Krane's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Nuclear-Physics-Kenneth-Krane/dp/047180553X Introductory Nuclear Physics]'' (assumes an undergraduate background in quantum mechanics)
* Kenneth Krane's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Nuclear-Physics-Kenneth-Krane/dp/047180553X Introductory Nuclear Physics]'' (assumes an undergraduate background in quantum mechanics)
* Weston Stacey's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Fusion-Plasma-Physics-Textbook/dp/3527405860/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240110013&sr=1-3 Fusion Plasma Physics]'' (assumes a strong background in electromagnetics)
* Weston Stacey's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Fusion-Plasma-Physics-Textbook/dp/3527405860/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240110013&sr=1-3 Fusion Plasma Physics]'' (assumes a strong background in electromagnetics)