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Nuclear weapons: Difference between revisions

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Don't blame me, man. I didn't do it.
Don't blame me, man. I didn't do it.
==Researching Nuclear Weapons==
==Researching Nuclear Weapons==
Your modern criticality fetishist has a rough time of things. Since 2001-09-11, great stocks of (unclassified) information have been purged from government sites. Various other fans (see the [[Nuclear Weapons#See Also|See Also]] section) maintain partial archives. Relevant conference proceedings (compressed matter physics, etc) get snapped up on used book sites quickly. My recommendation is a thorough grounding in nuclear engineering and the relevant mathematical methods (which you'll come across in the NucE books), at which point you'll be well-equipped to daydream about your own neutron initiator ideas and radical implosion symmetries. The boys at LANL and similar places haven't been able to do criticality experiments since the CTBT's passage, so everyone's on 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 video cards are a fine platform for running your own hydrocodes.
Your modern criticality fetishist has a rough time of things. Since 2001-09-11, great stocks of (unclassified) information have been purged from government sites. Various other fans (see the [[Nuclear weapons#See Also|See Also]] section) maintain partial archives. Relevant conference proceedings (compressed matter physics, etc) get snapped up on used book sites quickly. My recommendation is a thorough grounding in nuclear engineering and the relevant mathematical methods (which you'll come across in the NucE books), at which point you'll be well-equipped to daydream about your own neutron initiator ideas and radical implosion symmetries. The boys at LANL and similar places haven't been able to do criticality experiments since the CTBT's passage, so everyone's on 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 video cards are a fine platform for running your own hydrocodes.
===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); see blogs like [http://www.armscontrolwonk.com Arms Control Wonk] and [http://totalwonkerr.com/1986/all-teed-up-and-nowhere-to-go Total WonKerr] for more information, or your local university's political science department.
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); see blogs like [http://www.armscontrolwonk.com Arms Control Wonk] and [http://totalwonkerr.com/1986/all-teed-up-and-nowhere-to-go Total WonKerr] for more information, or your local university's political science department.