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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.
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 [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>236</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.
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 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vela_Incident 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!"'''
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===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.
* 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)