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Nuclear weapons: Difference between revisions

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* 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==
'''A nuclei sufficiently deformed as a result of
* 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)
* Pressure - temperature - ideal gases - brownian motion - radiative ablation - ionization - plasmas
* Pressure - temperature - ideal gases - brownian motion - radiative ablation - ionization - plasmas
* The atom - the nucleus - periodic table - size scales (electron vs proton vs neutron vs alpha particle vs large nucleus vs atomic radius vs molecular size)
* The atom - the nucleus - periodic table - size scales (electron vs proton vs neutron vs alpha particle vs large nucleus vs atomic radius vs molecular size)
* Shell models of the atom and nucleus - Coulomb potentials - Yukawa potentials - neutron absorption and scattering
* Shell models of the atom and nucleus - Coulomb potentials - Yukawa potentials
* Neutron absorption and scattering - fission probability - pre- and post-scission - Doppler broadening
** Neutron effect is a function of (a) incident neutron energy (b) many-body nucleon-nucleon forces and (c) luck
** Neutron effect is a function of (a) incident neutron energy (b) many-body nucleon-nucleon forces and (c) luck
** Resonance with nucleus activation energies leads to preferring absorption over scattering
** Resonance with nucleus activation energies leads to preferring absorption over scattering
** An absorption might deform the nucleus sufficiently that a two-body Coulomb system overpowers the SNF
*** This is the probability of fissioning, as opposed to merely emitting a γ.
** Nucleon-nucleon forces are typically described in per-{isotope X fine structure} terms, ignoring hyperfine details
** Nucleon-nucleon forces are typically described in per-{isotope X fine structure} terms, ignoring hyperfine details
** Result: for a given isotope, there's a function taking {excitation level X neutron energy} to {fission probability}
** Result: for a given isotope, there's a function taking {excitation level X neutron energy} to {first-order fission probability}
* Electodynamics - 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)
** Thermal neutrons can't classically cross Coulomb repulsions, but tunneling permits π-induced fission (π = pion, aka any of 3 π-mesons)
* Stable and unstable isotopes - half-life / expected time to decay
* Stable and unstable isotopes - half-life / expected time to decay - odd-even mass differences
* Radiations (alpha, beta, gamma) - transmutations (there are many!)
* Radiations (alpha, beta, gamma) - transmutations (there are many!)
* Liquid drop model - superdeformation - hyperdeformation - compound atom
* Liquid drop model - superdeformation - hyperdeformation - compound nucleus
 
* Nilsson model - (two-humped) fission barrier - fission isomer
===Reactor Physics/Fuel Cycle===
===Reactor Physics/Fuel Cycle===
* Oklo (Gabon) natural reactor - Natural materials:
* Oklo (Gabon) natural reactor - Natural materials:
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** Thorium.  
** Thorium.  
* Neutron moderators - fueling - MOX - breeders - feedbacks - inherently safe designs
* Neutron moderators - fueling - MOX - breeders - feedbacks - inherently safe designs
* Recycling - metal oxide fuel - reprocessing - fusion-driven waste fission
* Four-factor formula - criticality control - fuel burnup - fission products - fission poisons - <sup>135</sup>Xe - <sup>149</sup>Sm
* Four-factor formula - criticality control - fuel burnup - fission products - fission poisons - <sup>135</sup>Xe - <sup>149</sup>Sm
* Intertial confinement fusion - hydromagnetic confinement fusion - cold fusion - bubble fusion
* Intertial confinement fusion - hydromagnetic confinement fusion - cold fusion - bubble fusion
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* Implosion method - levitated pits - multi-point implosion
* Implosion method - levitated pits - multi-point implosion
* <sup>232</sup>Th - <sup>233</sup>U - <sup>235</sup>U - <sup>238</sup>U - <sup>249</sup>Pu - <sup>240</sup>Pu - minor actinides - transuranics - fissile, fissionable, fertile
* <sup>232</sup>Th - <sup>233</sup>U - <sup>235</sup>U - <sup>238</sup>U - <sup>249</sup>Pu - <sup>240</sup>Pu - minor actinides - transuranics - fissile, fissionable, fertile
* Fission chain reactions release thermal (slow) neutrons. Thermal neutrons affect materials differently:
* Fission chain reactions release moderately energetic "fission energy" neutrons. They affect materials differently:
** <sup>233</sup>U is fissile, and can be bred from <sup>232</sup>Th. Without subsequent physical enrichment, however, it'll be contaminated to some degree by:
** <sup>233</sup>U is fissile, and can be bred from <sup>232</sup>Th. Without subsequent physical enrichment, however, it'll be contaminated to some degree by:
*** <sup>232</sup>U ((<sup>233</sup>U,''n'') -> <sup>232</sup>U + ''2n'', (<sup>232</sup>Pa,β−) -> <sup>232</sup>U), a retarded younger brother notable for meager lifespan and γ-rich decay chain (though note that Georgia Tech researchers have fashioned <sup>232</sup>UBe<sub>13</sub> (<sup>232</sup>uranium beryllide) [http://smartech.gatech.edu/handle/1853/14650 neutron initiators], so it has that).
*** <sup>232</sup>U ((<sup>233</sup>U,''n'') -> <sup>232</sup>U + ''2n'', (<sup>232</sup>Pa,β−) -> <sup>232</sup>U), a retarded younger brother notable for meager lifespan and γ-rich decay chain (though note that Georgia Tech researchers have fashioned <sup>232</sup>UBe<sub>13</sub> (<sup>232</sup>uranium beryllide) [http://smartech.gatech.edu/handle/1853/14650 neutron initiators], so it has that).
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*** <sup>241</sup>Pu is highly fissile. Undesirable in weapons due to short half-life (α to useless <sup>241</sup>Am).
*** <sup>241</sup>Pu is highly fissile. Undesirable in weapons due to short half-life (α to useless <sup>241</sup>Am).
*** <sup>242</sup>Pu is plutonium gone wrong every possible way. The only redeeming grace is scarcity. Do not purchase <sup>242</sup>Pu, or accept it as a gift.
*** <sup>242</sup>Pu is plutonium gone wrong every possible way. The only redeeming grace is scarcity. Do not purchase <sup>242</sup>Pu, or accept it as a gift.
** Fission energy neutrons' effects generally follow those of thermal neutrons (probability of fission is generally reduced, but comparable).
* Enrichment levels - enrichment methods - degradation - downblending
* Enrichment levels - enrichment methods - degradation - downblending
** Observable properties of processing tech (plutonium's more intensely thermal)
** Observable properties of processing tech (plutonium's more intensely thermal)