Criticality - subcritical - supercritical - prompt criticality - critcial insertion time - insertion (gun-type) method - spontaneous fission - implosion method Liquid drop model - superdeformation - hyperdeformation (put these in physics?) Th233 - U233 - U235 - U238 - Pu249 - Pu240 - transuranics Enrichment levels - enrichment methods - degradation - downblending Neutron sources - prompt neutrons - delayed neutrons
Fusion Weapons and Boosting
- "Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems." R.L. Garwin and H.A. Bethe. Scientific American, Vol. 218, No. 3, pp. 21-31, March 1968.
- Missile Defense Agency, with garish Flash as of 2008.12.27.
- The Garwin Archive at FAS is awesome
- The National Nuclear Data Center at Brookhaven National Laboratory
- The NRDC maintains a nuclear data archive
The following textbooks range from introductory to advanced material, and all require some basic physics and associated mathematical sophistication.
- Kenneth Krane's Introductory Nuclear Physics (assumes an undergraduate background in quantum mechanics)
- Weston Stacey's Fusion Plasma Physics (assumes a strong background in electromagnetics)
- James J. Dunderstadt's Nuclear Reactor Physics
- Robert Serber's Los Alamos Primer
There's pretty much an endless line of popular-audience books about nuclear weapons, especially their early design and the characters behind them (I've got about a dozen biographies of J. Robert Oppenheimer alone). These require no particular scientific or mathematic background. Of them, the best include:
- Richard Rhodes's The Making of the Atomic Bomb (winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction)
- Richard Rhodes's Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb
- Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin's American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in biography)