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Nuclear Explosions

Old 6th Sep 2015, 00:23
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Nuclear Explosions

Since an early age, on receiving the Eagle book of Science for Christmas in 1962, I have been fascinated by the history and science of nuclear weapons, and spent a pleasant hour or so browsing through the book 100 Suns at a bookstore in Syracuse a few years ago.... anyway.... my question is.... if say, 25 kilotons of conventional explosive, TNT, could be prepared for detonation, could it be detonated, and how different to a 25 kton nuclear explosion would it be? If this is the wrong forum, please move.
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 00:44
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Nuclear Explosions

You don't get radiation burns and fallout or the massive thermal pulse from 25,000 tons of TNT that you do from a 25kt warhead.

It's kinda like asking, is the temperature the same if you have an air temperature of 25°C and you have a body of water that is 25°C...
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 01:10
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I should have said, obviously I realise there would be no radiation or EMP, I'm more interested in what such a conventional explosion would look and feel like, if it could be achieved.
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 01:24
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Well I'm not an explosives expert but I would imagine it would be like 25 tons of explosive going up but bigger. The mines exploded in the battle of Messines during WW1 were about twenty five to thirty tons each, there's plenty of video of those going up. As General Plumer who devised the attack said 'Gentlemen, we may not make history tomorrow, but we shall certainly change the geography.'
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 01:37
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_Scale

One of the larger(4kt) conventional explosions - photo in the link
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 07:54
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The Halifax Explosion






Mount Redoubt Explosion 1990 - 60Kt


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Old 6th Sep 2015, 08:39
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My Stepfather was in Bombay on the day a large ammunition ship blew up there,I have booklet printed by the Indian Newspapers a few days later about the place somewhere,that was a pretty loud bang.
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 09:01
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One of the larger(4kt) conventional explosions - photo in the link
That made me laugh, the thing is with Americans, you never know whether they are being serious or not when they make statements like this-

"Future tests are not expected to get bigger than Minor Scale", and in particular, "There are no plans for a test called Major Scale".[
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 09:09
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This event should give you an idea as to the potential result.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Fauld_explosion

Even today, it's a "very deep hole" .
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 09:53
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Crikey, never heard of that one. Just had a look on Google Earth and it's clearly visible as you say. Measured it with the map tool and it's 230x330 metres in size.
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 10:45
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Contact mythbusters, and ask em to let off 25K tons of TNT on a 100 ft tower.

I'm pretty sure that the explosive energy would be the same as the comparable nuke. Mind you, the nuke is much smaller in size and weight.

It would make a good video, especially if they put tanks trucks and planes around to see the effects
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 11:14
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Here yer go.
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 13:10
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Probably similar to a recent explosion at a chemical plant in China.
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 13:22
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Originally Posted by tony draper View Post
My Stepfather was in Bombay on the day a large ammunition ship blew up there,I have booklet printed by the Indian Newspapers a few days later about the place somewhere,that was a pretty loud bang.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombay...ion_%281944%29
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 13:44
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I still,wish that someone could explain to me in simple terms how you can get so much bang out of such a little bit of plutonium or uranium. I can understand how 25 tons of TNT goes bang, but not uranium.
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 13:58
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SOPS, see here.

The implosion method is considered more sophisticated than the gun method and only can be used if the fissile material is plutonium. The inherent radioactivity of uranium will then release a neutron, which will bombard another atom of 235U to produce the unstable uranium-236, which undergoes fission, releases further neutrons, and continues the process.The uranium atom can split any one of dozens of different ways, as long as the atomic weights add up to 236 (uranium plus the extra neutron). The following equation shows one possible split, namely into strontium-95 (95Sr), xenon-139 (139Xe), and two neutrons (n), plus energy......

The immediate energy release per atom is about 180 million electron volts (Me). Of the energy produced, 93 percent is the kinetic energy of the charged fission fragments flying away from each other, mutually repelled by the positive charge of their protons. This initial kinetic energy imparts an initial speed of about 12,000 kilometers per second.

However, the charged fragments' high electric charge causes many inelastic collisions with nearby nuclei, and thus these fragments remain trapped inside the bomb's uranium pit. Here, their motion is converted into X-ray heat, a process which takes about a millionth of a second. By this time, the material in the core and tamper of the bomb is several meters in diameter and has been converted to plasma at a temperature of tens of millions of degrees. This X-ray energy produces the blast and fire which are normally the purpose of a nuclear explosion.....
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 14:01
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Chicago_disaster

Port Chicago - Racism and a poor reflection of USN Leadership
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 14:04
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Thanks ORAC
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 14:39
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Simples:


see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass%E2%80%93energy_equivalence


If you do the kaboom ting with 25 kilotons of chemical explosive, the rapid-chemical-process of detonation causes the molecules of the material to break apart into a relatively cool macro-atomic mist of molecules from the original explosive, which then (eventually) recombine with each other and the surrounding environment to form new molecular compounds that, collectively, have a smaller amount of energy holding together the new molecules. All the "explosive" energy comes from molecules of one sort being torn apart. The force of the molecular explosion translates mostly into heat from molecules bumping into one another, which motion what creates the shock-wave emanating from the explosion... and that 25,000 tones of matter being rearranged chemically is the ting that does most of the disassembling and damage to the surroundings - from molecules colliding with one-another as the thermal, and chemical, and misc other shock-waves propagate away from point of bang, and from expansion of air an transport of other bits of mass due to the heat.

With the nuclear equivalent of 25KT - a package that is considerably more compact, the energy comes from breaking the inner bonds of atoms of material within the weapon's core. There are a gazillion more of these (than in the chemical KT example above), and they are strung together much more closely and strongly with tighter springs than molecules. Result of breaking atomic bonds OF molecules to release energy can be vastly more energy released in a much quicker process. Both effects create greater thermal and particle and electrical processes expanding out from a core maybe the size of a loaf of bread (vs a small office building for the 25kt chemical).

Energy equals mass times speed-of-light-squared spells it out.

Just try multiplying your latest paycheck amount by speed-of-light-squared... to get the drift of energy difference between dealing with everyday molecules (combining lightweight electrons 1:1 ) vs dealing with the bits of atoms themselves (even lighter but releasing c-squared chunklets of energy in each and every one of very many deflagration transactions.)

Did you notice the diff? How could one describe it more clearly?
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 20:21
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Thankfully only a smal percentage is converted in either fission or fusion weapons, the rest being dispersed. A matter/antimatter bomb would be an almost world shattering event....

An antimatter weapon is a hypothetical device using antimatter as a power source, a propellant, or an explosive for a weapon. The primary theoretical advantage of such a weapon is that antimatter and matter collisions convert and produce a greater fraction of the weapon's mass into explosive energy when compared to a hydrogen fusion reaction, which is only on the order of 0.4%.

Antimatter production and containment are major obstacles to the creation of antimatter weapons. Quantities measured in grams will be required to achieve destructive effect comparable with conventional nuclear weapons; one gram of antimatter annihilating with one gram of matter produces 180 terajoules, the equivalent of 42.96 kilotons of TNT (approximately 3 times the bomb dropped on Hiroshima)....
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