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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 fellow travelers (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 fellow travelers (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.
When the going gets tough, just think to yourself: "If South Africa can do something, so can I."
===(Unclassified) Books===
===(Unclassified) 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.
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* Richard Rhodes's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Sun-Making-Hydrogen-Bomb/dp/0684824140/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb]''
* Richard Rhodes's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Sun-Making-Hydrogen-Bomb/dp/0684824140/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb]''
* Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin's ''[http://www.amazon.com/American-Prometheus-Triumph-Tragedy-Oppenheimer/dp/0375726268/ref=pd_sim_b_2 American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer]'' (winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in biography)
* Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin's ''[http://www.amazon.com/American-Prometheus-Triumph-Tragedy-Oppenheimer/dp/0375726268/ref=pd_sim_b_2 American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer]'' (winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in biography)
==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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* Electodynamics - strong nuclear force - weak nuclear force - quantum tunneling - radiations (alpha, beta, gamma) - transmutations (there are many!)
* Electodynamics - strong nuclear force - weak nuclear force - quantum tunneling - radiations (alpha, beta, gamma) - transmutations (there are many!)
* Liquid drop model - superdeformation - hyperdeformation
* Liquid drop model - superdeformation - hyperdeformation
===Reactor Physics/Fuel Cycle===
===Reactor Physics/Fuel Cycle===
* Neutron moderators - fueling - MOX - breeders - feedbacks - inherently safe designs
* Neutron moderators - fueling - MOX - breeders - feedbacks - inherently safe designs
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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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* 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])
* [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==
==Delivery Systems, Effects, and Defense==
* 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
* ''[http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0262661810?ie=UTF8&redirect=true Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces]'' (2004, MIT Press) is ''awesome''
* ''[http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0262661810?ie=UTF8&redirect=true Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces]'' (2004, MIT Press) is ''awesome''
===Missile Defense===
===Missile Defense===
* "[http://www.fas.org/rlg/03%2000%201968%20Bethe-Garwin%20ABM%20Systems.pdf Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems]." R.L. Garwin and H.A. Bethe. ''Scientific American'', Vol. 218, No. 3, pp. 21-31, March 1968.
* "[http://www.fas.org/rlg/03%2000%201968%20Bethe-Garwin%20ABM%20Systems.pdf Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems]." R.L. Garwin and H.A. Bethe. ''Scientific American'', Vol. 218, No. 3, pp. 21-31, March 1968.
* [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==
==Miscellaneous==
* Project Plowshare - Project Orion - Atoms for Peace - Project Rover
* Project Plowshare - Project Orion - Atoms for Peace - Project Rover
* Testing - test detection - treaties
* Testing - test detection - treaties
 
* Criticality accidents - Weapon accidents
==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