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Nuclear weapons: Difference between revisions

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When the going gets tough, just think to yourself: '''"If South Africa can do something, dammit, so can I!"'''
When the going gets tough, just think to yourself: '''"If South Africa can do something, dammit, so can I!"'''
==(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.
* Kenneth Krane's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Nuclear-Physics-Kenneth-Krane/dp/047180553X Introductory Nuclear Physics]'' (assumes an undergraduate background in quantum mechanics)
* Weston Stacey's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Fusion-Plasma-Physics-Textbook/dp/3527405860/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240110013&sr=1-3 Fusion Plasma Physics]'' (assumes a strong background in electromagnetics)
* James J. Dunderstadt's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Nuclear-Reactor-Analysis-James-Duderstadt/dp/0471223638/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240110092&sr=1-1 Nuclear Reactor Physics]''
* Robert Serber's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Los-Alamos-Primer-Lectures-Atomic/dp/0520075765/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240110184&sr=1-1 Los Alamos Primer]''
* Glasstone and Dolan's ''[http://www.princeton.edu/~globsec/publications/effects/effects.shtml The Effects of Nuclear Weapons]'' is about as directly quantitative as one finds in the open literature, and freely available online.
* IANUS scientists Andre Gsponer and Jean-Pierre Hurni authored the technical report "[http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/News/INESAPTR1.html The Physical Principles Of Thermonuclear Explosives, Inertial Confinement Fusion, And The Quest For Fourth Generation Nuclear Weapons]". It can be ordered or downloaded from the IANUS website.
* Also worth checking out: McPhee's <i>The Curve of Binding Energy</i>, <i>[http://www.amazon.com/Critical-Assembly-Technical-Oppenheimer-1943-1945/dp/0521541174/ref=ed_oe_p Critical Assembly]</i>
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 ''[http://www.amazon.com/Making-Atomic-Bomb-Richard-Rhodes/dp/0684813785 The Making of the Atomic Bomb]'' (winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction)
* 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)
==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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* [http://www.armscontrolwonk.com Arms Control Wonk]
* [http://www.armscontrolwonk.com Arms Control Wonk]
* [http://totalwonkerr.com Total WonKerr]
* [http://totalwonkerr.com Total WonKerr]
* [http://glasstone.blogspot.com/ The Effects of Nuclear Weapons] (this one's out there)
* [http://glasstone.blogspot.com/ The Effects of Nuclear Weapons] (this one gets a little crazy)
* Back in the day, [http://roboteconomist.blogspot.com/ Arms Control Otaku]
* [http://roboteconomist.blogspot.com/ Arms Control Otaku] (no longer active)
===(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.
* Kenneth Krane's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Nuclear-Physics-Kenneth-Krane/dp/047180553X Introductory Nuclear Physics]'' (assumes an undergraduate background in quantum mechanics)
* Weston Stacey's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Fusion-Plasma-Physics-Textbook/dp/3527405860/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240110013&sr=1-3 Fusion Plasma Physics]'' (assumes a strong background in electromagnetics)
* James J. Dunderstadt's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Nuclear-Reactor-Analysis-James-Duderstadt/dp/0471223638/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240110092&sr=1-1 Nuclear Reactor Physics]''
* Robert Serber's ''[http://www.amazon.com/Los-Alamos-Primer-Lectures-Atomic/dp/0520075765/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240110184&sr=1-1 Los Alamos Primer]''
* Glasstone and Dolan's ''[http://www.princeton.edu/~globsec/publications/effects/effects.shtml The Effects of Nuclear Weapons]'' is about as directly quantitative as one finds in the open literature, and freely available online.
* IANUS scientists Andre Gsponer and Jean-Pierre Hurni authored the technical report "[http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/News/INESAPTR1.html The Physical Principles Of Thermonuclear Explosives, Inertial Confinement Fusion, And The Quest For Fourth Generation Nuclear Weapons]". It can be ordered or downloaded from the IANUS website.
* Also worth checking out: McPhee's <i>The Curve of Binding Energy</i>, <i>[http://www.amazon.com/Critical-Assembly-Technical-Oppenheimer-1943-1945/dp/0521541174/ref=ed_oe_p Critical Assembly]</i>
 
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 ''[http://www.amazon.com/Making-Atomic-Bomb-Richard-Rhodes/dp/0684813785 The Making of the Atomic Bomb]'' (winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction)
* 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)