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Nuclear weapons: Difference between revisions

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(i refer to the vela incident, not, like, apartheid)
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Getting started in nuclear hobbyism is easier (and more fun!) than you likely think. ''WarGames'' taught us that computers and nuclear weapons are more interesting than dogs, parents, or Ally Sheedy (and more trustworthy than feelings). A computer program is simple interactions, tightly arranged, performed billions of times in the blink of an eye. A nuclear bomb is basically the same thing, but you can only run it once.
Getting started in nuclear hobbyism is easier (and more fun!) than you likely think. ''WarGames'' taught us that computers and nuclear weapons are more interesting than dogs, parents, or Ally Sheedy (and more trustworthy than feelings). A computer program is simple interactions, tightly arranged, performed billions of times in the blink of an eye. A nuclear bomb is basically the same thing, but you can only run it once.


It's true that your modern criticality fetishist has a rough time of things. Since 2001-09-11, great stocks of (unclassified) information have been purged from US government sites. Various fellow travelers (see [[Nuclear weapons#See Also|below]]) maintain partial archives. Relevant conference proceedings (compressed matter physics, etc) get snapped up on used book sites quickly. My recommendations are to follow ''The Making of the Atomic Bomb'' and ''The Los Alamos Primer'' (see [[Nuclear weapons#Books|"Books", below]]) with a few nuclear engineering and physics texts, at which point you'll be well-equipped to daydream about your own neutron initiator ideas and radical implosion symmetries. Don't be afraid to search through Russian papers; once you need to (you'll know when), they're sufficiently mathematically dense that you can follow along. The words are mainly just transitions anyway.
It's true that your modern criticality fetishist has a rough time of things. Since 2001-09-11, great stocks of (unclassified) information have been purged from US government sites. Various fellow travelers (see [[Nuclear weapons#See Also|below]]) maintain partial archives. Relevant conference proceedings (high-density physics, etc) get snapped up on used book sites quickly. My recommendations are to follow ''The Making of the Atomic Bomb'' and ''The Los Alamos Primer'' (see [[Nuclear weapons#Books|"Books", below]]) with a few nuclear engineering and physics texts, at which point you'll be well-equipped to daydream about your own neutron initiator ideas and radical implosion symmetries. Don't be afraid to search through Russian papers; once you need to (you'll know when), they're sufficiently mathematically dense that you can follow along. The words are mainly just transitions anyway.


All is not lost. The boys at [http://www.lanl.gov/ LANL] and [http://www.ornl.gov/ similar] [https://www.llnl.gov/ places] haven't been able to do criticality experiments since the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehensive_Nuclear-Test-Ban_Treaty CTBT's] signing, so it's a level ([[Nuclear weapons#Simulation|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 [[CUDA|GPUs]] form a fine platform for running your own hydrocodes. Relevant shockwave theory, metallurgy and nuclear constants have long existed in the public domain. Neutron sources sufficient to grill <sup>233</sup>U from sheets of <sup>232</sup>Th in one's backyard are advertised in every issue of <i>Nuclear News</i> or <i>Physics Today</i>, while high-quality timing elements can practically be extracted from microwaves. The 2009 recession has left plenty of teenagers unemployed, and you can surely put them to work doing something.
All is not lost. The boys at [http://www.lanl.gov/ LANL] and [http://www.ornl.gov/ similar] [https://www.llnl.gov/ places] haven't been able to do criticality experiments since the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehensive_Nuclear-Test-Ban_Treaty CTBT's] signing, so it's a level ([[Nuclear weapons#Simulation|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 [[CUDA|GPUs]] form a fine platform for running your own hydrocodes. Relevant shockwave theory, metallurgy and nuclear constants have long existed in the public domain. Neutron sources sufficient to grill <sup>233</sup>U from sheets of <sup>232</sup>Th in one's backyard are advertised in every issue of <i>Nuclear News</i> or <i>Physics Today</i>, while high-quality timing elements can practically be extracted from microwaves. The 2009 recession has left plenty of teenagers unemployed, and you can surely put them to work doing something.