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Energy of a Nuclear Explosion.
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| Editor's Supplement -- 2001, 2002
| Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
Posted on 10/16/2002 9:29:49 AM PDT by vannrox
Energy of a Nuclear Explosion
The Physics Factbook
Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
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|The World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book. 1999. 597.
||"Nuclear explosive devices can have a wide variety of yields. Some older bombs had yields of about 20 megatons, or 1540 Hiroshima bombs. A megaton is the amount of energy released by 1 million short tons (907,000 metric tons) of TNT. Today most nuclear devices have yields of less than 1 megaton."
< 4,000 TJ
|Worldwide effects of nuclear war. US Arms Control & Disarmament Agency, 1975: 3.
||"'Castle/Bravo' was the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated by the United States. Before it was set off at Bikini on February 28, 1954, it was expected to explode with an energy equivalent of about 8 million tons of TNT. Actually, it produced almost twice that explosive power -- equivalent to 15 million tons of TNT."
|World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: Field Enterprises, 1975: 843.
"The first atomic bomb, or A-bomb, exploded on July 16, 1945, Alamogordo, N.Mex. It produced an explosion equal to that of 19,000 short tons (17,000 metric tons) of TNT."
|Encyclopedia Americana. Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1995: 532.
||"By today's standards the two bombs dropped on a Japan were small -- equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT in the case of the Hiroshima bomb and 20,000 tons in the case of the Nagasaki bomb."
Nuclear energy, often mistakenly called atomic energy, is the most powerful kind of energy known. It produces the tremendous heat and light of the sun and the shattering blast of thermonuclear bombs. Nuclear energy results from changes in the nucleus of atoms. Scientists and engineers have found many uses for this energy from the production of electricity to the destructive power of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons are far more destructive than any conventional (non-nuclear) weapon. They are often called atomic bombs or hydrogen bombs. The energy released by nuclear weapons is measured in tons, kilotons (thousands of tons), or megatons (millons of tons) of TNT. In international standard units (SI), one ton of TNT is equal to 4.184 x 109 joule (J).
Nuclear weapons have a large variety of energy yields. The first detonated on July 16, 1945 near Alamogordo, New Mexico, had a yield of about 19 kilotons or 80 terajoules (1 TJ = 1012 J). The two bombs that were dropped on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II were comparable in size: 15 and 20 kilotons or 63 and 84 terajoules, respectively. These bombs were only half the volume of the largest aerial bombs in use at the time, but released far more energy. It was said that there was as much energy in each bomb as in a stack of conventional explosives the size of the Washington Monument. Far more powerful bombs were made within a few years. The most powerful American bomb known as "Castle/Bravo" was detonated on February 28, 1954 and released energy equivalent to an astounding 15 megatons or 84,000 terajoules!
Muhammad L. Kaleem -- 2000
|Sources to [sic] radioactive contamination in Russian Counties of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. Thomas Nilsen, Nils Bøhmer. Bellona Foundation.
||"The world's most powerful hydrogen bomb was detonated on the 30th of October 1961 [over Novaya Zemlya]. The bomb had an explosive force of 58 megatons, or almost 6,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. The bomb was dropped by an aircraft, and detonated 365 metres (1,200 feet) above the surface. The shock wave produced by this bomb was so powerful, it went thrice around the earth. The mushroom cloud extended almost 60 kilometres into the atmosphere."
|The Khariton Version. Yuli Khariton and Yuri Smirnov. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. May 1993.
||"On October 30, 1961, Soviet physicists detonated a 50-megaton bomb, which remains unsurpassed in terms of its yield. This device was distinguished by its purity: 97 percent of its energy yield was derived from thermonuclear reactions. The complete success of this test proved that it was possible to design devices of virtually unlimited power on the basis of the principle proposed by Sakharov, Viktor Adamskii, Yuri N. Babaev, Yuri Smirnov, and Yuri Trutnev. The bomb was exploded at an altitude of four kilometers over Novaya Zemlya, using a Tu-95 strategic bomber piloted by Hero of the Soviet Union A. E. Durnovtsev."
Editor's Supplement -- 2001, 2002
TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Israel; Japan; News/Current Events; Russia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: 911; bomb; iraq; nuclear; saddam; war; wtc
With all the talk about the possible use of Nuclear weapons by eith the USA or Iraq, I found that this site gave a most balanced apprasial of weapons capabilities. Especially as far as the largest nuclear bomb possible, and the relative sizes of the ones used during World War II.
posted on 10/16/2002 9:29:49 AM PDT
Except Iraq wouldn't have access to the multi-megaton devices described here. Those are hydro's. They'll only have access to fission devices, the largest of which I think is only half a megaton.
posted on 10/16/2002 9:56:09 AM PDT
Actually, the Novaya Zemlya bomb of October 30, 1961 was more like a 100 megaton bomb. Maybe to keep things from getting completly out of hand the last stage was "denatured."
posted on 10/16/2002 10:01:02 AM PDT
posted on 10/16/2002 10:15:46 AM PDT
Any ideas what nukes would do to, oh, say.. black stone buildings holding meteorites?
Countering 21st Century Enemies and WMD Threats
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2002 -- At the heart of the new National Security Strategy is a fundamental change in the way America addresses the 21st century threat of weapons of mass destruction, said presidential adviser Robert Joseph.
Joseph, speaking at the Fletcher Conference here Oct. 16, said the greatest difference between previous strategies and the one President Bush released Sept. 17 is in "the description of and the prescription for defending against today's threats." Joseph is an adviser to the National Security Council.
He said the war on terrorism is a new type of war that requires America to think differently about threats and to harness new tools and methods to defeat those threats.
Joseph said the administration's concerns about terrorism and weapons of mass destruction predate the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington. In speeches in Washington, Bush urged the country to move beyond Cold War approaches to security. The president was explicit in the need for new thinking and new tools for dealing with the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Bush made a call to "take into account contemporary threats that do not represent simply lesser cases of the old Soviet model," Joseph said.
The Soviet Union regarded weapons of mass destruction as one example of its power. The people in charge regarded the weapons as a defense of last resort, not their preferred response.
Rogue states represent different threats.
"These weapons are viewed by rogue states as weapons of choice, not as weapons of last resort," he said. Deterring and defending against these weapons in the hands of such leaders will be tougher than in the past.
"There are no mutual understandings with these states," he said. "There are no effective lines of communications with them."
Joseph said these states would use these weapons to blackmail the United States by holding a few U.S. cities hostage. "Our new adversaries seek enough destructive power to blackmail us so that we will not come to the help of our friends, who would then become the victims of aggression," he said.
A threat also comes from the nexus between these rogue states and terror organizations. "This element has grown in importance as we have learned about al Qaeda's growing interest in acquiring -- from rogue states and other sources -- chemical, biological and radiological weapons," he said. "This threat of terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction is made more clear when one compares the list of states seeking weapons of mass destruction with the list of states that sponsor terrorists: The lists are virtually identical."
Joseph said the National Security Strategy stands on three pillars, the first being counterproliferation. The United States will build and field the capabilities to deter and defend against the full spectrum of weapons of mass destruction.
"Counterproliferation must also be an integral part of the basic doctrine, training and equipping of our forces as well as our allies to ensure that we can operate and prevail in any conflict with WMD-armed adversaries," he said.
The second pillar is strengthened nonproliferation to rogue states and terrorists. The United States will renew efforts to prevent WMD technologies, experts and materials from reaching dangerous states.
Pre-emption is the third pillar. "The National Security Strategy is clear-headed about what the contemporary WMD threat may require militarily," Joseph said. "Given the immediacy and potential magnitude of the threats and the value our enemies place on weapons of mass destruction as weapons of choice, we can no longer rely on a reactive posture.
"We must, if necessary, act pre-emptively," he said. "We will not do so in all cases, and our use of force will be deliberate and measured to eliminate a specific threat to the United States, our friends or allies."
posted on 10/16/2002 11:30:28 AM PDT
To: Jeff Head; VaBthang4; PsyOp; Gunrunner2
Big boom ping!
posted on 10/16/2002 12:12:59 PM PDT
Any ideas what nukes would do to, oh, say.. black stone buildings holding meteorites?
now, now, you're being a naughty boy ... 8) ... of course, if OBL was alive, I'd wager $10 that's where he was ...
posted on 10/16/2002 3:21:52 PM PDT
posted on 10/16/2002 4:17:23 PM PDT
I bet it would make a pretty glass-like substance, but you never know unless you try. ;)
posted on 10/16/2002 4:23:33 PM PDT
Interesting Big Bomb stuff, but what about the application and capabilities of small, low-yield tactical, rather than strategic, nuclear devices-- battlefield nukes like the ones deployed (but, my understanding, never used) by the South Africa Army during the Namibian War.
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