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Superbomb ignites science dispute (Got Hafnium?)
| Keay Davidson - SF Chronicle
Posted on 09/27/2003 10:05:09 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Edited on 04/13/2004 2:44:05 AM PDT by Jim Robinson.
The Pentagon's pursuit of a new kind of nonnuclear super-weapon has sparked a behind-the-scenes revolt among its elite scientific advisers, some of whom reject the scheme as pseudoscience.
The military's goal is to develop a bomb that might be far more powerful than existing conventional weapons of the same size. Precisely targeted, such a weapon could take out targets -- such as underground caverns that conceal weapons of mass destruction -- without posing the severe political risks of using nuclear bombs.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: armsrace; bomb; darpa; dispute; gammarayweapons; hafnium; hipp; isomer; miltech; nuclear; realscience; science; superbomb; superweapons; usdoe; ut; utah
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but...but...what about photon torpedoes?? and light sabers??? what about them???!!!!
posted on 09/27/2003 10:10:13 PM PDT
Although Herrmannsfeldt regards claims for hafnium-178's super-energy powers as nonsense, he fears that other nations will take them seriously, triggering a new arms race.
Lets get this straight, he says they wont work, but he worries that other nations will build them.
posted on 09/27/2003 10:10:39 PM PDT
I wanted to field entire divisions of Mech Warriors!
posted on 09/27/2003 10:12:04 PM PDT
So, has anyone actually gotten ahold of a dental x-ray machine and tried to duplicate the original work? Or have they all just followed the theory - with wildly different equipment - and failed to reproduce it?
It may well be that there is something specific to the equipment Collins was using.
sounds like a plan! when you've worked out the details let me know - I've always thought the MechWarrior idea was a major military breakthrough simply waiting for technology to let it happen.
posted on 09/27/2003 10:14:56 PM PDT
To: blam; Physicist; Myrddin
Science ping. (Let me know what you bright guys decide.)
posted on 09/27/2003 10:17:35 PM PDT
by Travis McGee
(----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
Well, we have to give them hermetically sealed polytanium armor, and they have to have those 100mm guided mortars and the power cells that keeps them in the field for up to a year without a recharge.
I think we should outfit most of them with twin 120mm turrets off of the outmoded M1A2's and some should have 100mm gatlin cannons.
But this might take a while....
posted on 09/27/2003 10:18:02 PM PDT
To: Travis McGee
I wouldn't know halfnium from sleepium
posted on 09/27/2003 10:19:10 PM PDT
Collins himself has a weighty reputation. A decade earlier, the Texas Academy of Sciences had named him "Distinguished Texas Scientist" of the year for his research on high-energy lasers.
That title and a $1.00 will get you a cup of coffee any place in town.
If Los Alamos, Sandia, and Lawrence Livermore National Labs can't verify his experiment then we damned sure don't need to be wasting any more money on the effort.
posted on 09/27/2003 10:19:41 PM PDT
(Freedom begins when you tell Mrs Grundy to go fly a kite)
oh man, I want the pods filled with armor piercing rockets - you know, and the energy beam weapons that can melt an opponent's kneecap at a mile and half distance...yeah! now we're talkin'!
posted on 09/27/2003 10:25:25 PM PDT
The links are dead in the following info posting FRom Wikipedia... It comes in thin rolls so you can use it in lieu of tinfoil if so needed.
FRom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
|Name, Symbol, Number
||Hafnium, Hf, 72
|Group, Period, Block
||4 (IVB), 6 , d
||13310 kg/m3, 5.5
|Atomic radius (calc.)
||155 (208) pm
|van der Waals radius
||[Xe]4f14 5d2 6s2
|e- 's per energy level
||2, 8, 18, 32, 10, 2
|Oxidation state (Oxide)
|State of matter
||2506 K (4051 °F)
||4876 K (8317 °F)
||13.44 ×10-3 m3/mol
|Heat of vaporization
|Heat of fusion
||0.00112Pa at 2500K
|Speed of sound
||3010 m/s at 293.15 K
||1.3 (Pauling scale)
|Specific heat capacity
||3.12 106/m ohm
|1st ionization potential
|2nd ionization potential
|Most Stable Isotopes
|SI units & STP are used except where noted.
is a chemical element
in the periodic table
that has the symbol Hf and atomic number
72. A lustrous, silvery gray tetravalent transition metal
, hafnium resembles zirconium
chemically and is found in zirconium minerals
. Hafnium is used in tungsten alloys
in filaments and electrodes
and also acts as a neutron
absorber in nuclear control rods.
This is a shiny silvery, ductile metal
that is corrosion
resistant and chemically similar to zirconium
. The properties of hafnium are markedly affected by zirconium impurities and these two elements are amongst the most difficult to separate. The only notable difference between them is their density (zirconium is about half as dense as hafnium).
Hafnium carbide is the most refractory binary compound known and hafnium nitride is the most refractory of all known metal nitrides with a melting point of 3310 °C). This metal is resistant to concentrated alkalis, but halogens react with it to form hafnium tetrahalides. At higher temperatures hafnium reacts with oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, boron, sulfur, and silicon.
The nuclear isomer Hf-178-2m is also a source of energetic gamma rays, and is being studied as a possible power source for gamma ray lasers.
Hafnium is used to make nuclear control rods, such as those found in nuclear submarines
because of its ability to absorb neutrons
(its thermal neutron absorption cross section is nearly 600 times that of zirconium), excellent mechanical properties and exceptional corrosion-resistance properties. Other uses;
Hafnium (Latin Hafnia
") was discovered by Dirk Coster
and Georg von Hevesy
in Copenhagen, Denmark
. Soon after, the new element was predicted to be associated with zirconium
by using the Bohr theory and was finally found in zircon through X-ray spectroscope
analysis in Norway
It was separated from zirconium through repeated recrystallization of double ammonium or potassium fluorides by Jantzen and von Hevesey. Metallic hafnium was first prepared by Anton Eduard van Arkel and Jan Hendrik deBoer by passing the tetraiodide vapor over a heated tungsten filament.
Hafnium is found combined in natural zirconium
compounds but it is never found as a free element in nature. Minerals
that contain zirconium, such as alvite
), usually contain 1 and 5 percent hafnium. Hafnium and zirconium have nearly identical chemistry, which makes the two difficult to separate. About half of all hafnium metal manufactured is produced by a by-product of zirconium refinement. This is done through reducing hafnium tetrachloride with magnesium
in the Kroll Process
Care needs to be taken when machining hafnium because when it is divided into fine particles, it is pyrophoric
and can ignite spontaneously in air. Compounds that contain this metal are rarely encountered by most people and the pure metal is not normally toxic but all its compounds should be handled as if they are toxic (although there appears to be limited danger to exposed individuals).
posted on 09/27/2003 10:27:44 PM PDT
(Burning Clinton's Britches Since 1998)
I just mentioned the heavier weapons, I forgot to mention the constellation of low orbit geo-sync satellites (don't tell me thats impossible! =o) ) that will allow analysts in the Satellite Command Center (SatCom) to direct the guided mortars from a Mech without the driver having to do anything. They will also keep him informed of all enemy activity from their eyes in the sky.
The Mechs will have unguided rockets, 20mm cannons, 7.62 machine guns, grenade launchers, anti-aircraft missiles and they will also carry a couple of UAV's to find the bad guys if the satellites are impaired.
The things might be 20 feet tall but the skin absorbs heat and changes color to match the terrain of course. We're still working on the laser weapons.
posted on 09/27/2003 10:31:22 PM PDT
Dumkopf! Venn Herr Doktor Hermannsfeldt speaks, you do nicht talk. You listen only. Schweinhund. Silence or your relatifs in Chermany vill suffer. Alle ist klarr?
I guarantee that the US defense research community is welcomming the skepticism. It only disinvites other capable researchers from investigating what might potentially be a breakthrough. Even if Jason's recommendation is officially taken, there is a budget for this type of thing.
did I mention that we'll carry them across the ocean aboard the Jetships? These ships have no propellers, they have several jet engines to propel them faster than anything on the water, they are heavily armed and carry a large number of the huge Mechs. =o)
Jetships have no open deck, they look like a smaller version of a Trek saucer section.
posted on 09/27/2003 10:33:42 PM PDT
Actually, that award will guarantee you some good funding for several years. Texas has some very, very, good laboratories also.
One possible way would involve bombarding elements in a giant particle accelerator, then developing a tedious process for extracting the hafnium-178 nuclear isomer.
Let's see, where can we find a rather large partical accelerator... hummm... oh yea, TEXA... oops, no, that got pi$$ed away.
posted on 09/27/2003 10:35:07 PM PDT
(...........ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA..........)
To: Travis McGee; GeronL
I am reminded of the Admiral during WW II who when asked about the atomic bomb working said "As an expert in muntions it will never work" Dang I wish I could remember his name, IIRC he was FDR's aide.
For a wee bit of education, and a grin or two, try this... http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/elements.php
posted on 09/27/2003 10:43:00 PM PDT
(GNY Highway's Rules: Improvise; Adapt; Overcome)
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