Fission/fusion- Setting the atmosphere on fire!

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Richard Hull
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 9:44 am
Real name: Richard Hull

Fission/fusion- Setting the atmosphere on fire!

Post by Richard Hull »

I attach a PDF file sent to me by Bill Kolb who some of you have met at HEAS over the years. He has written the book Living with Radiation -The First 100 Years. He also authored the book, Trinitite.

While Bill knows a lot about radiation physics, I have, over the many years I have known him, been teaching a bit of fusion physics and activation physics to him. The attached article is fascinating and detailed. Many of the studied and well read folks here will know about the old joke around the first atom bomb test where Teller suggested that the bomb might set the atmosphere on fire and that Fermi went around before the blast taking side bets on this possibility. It was actually much more involved than that simple scenario.

Teller's suggestion was taken seriously by Oppenheimer and a couple of others, prior to the trinity test. A conclave was assembled and maths run out on the distinct possibility for N14-N14 fusion at bomb localized temperatures and pressures. The result was that it seemed very unlikely due to the calculated energies and temperatures expected.

However, after the war, the question was again a very worrisome one. With a 10X increase in atom bomb strength and a 100X increase over Trinity test energies by proposed possible H bomb atmospheric detonations, N14-N14 runaway fusion in the atmosphere seemed a real thing!!!

Read this intriguing article for the straight dope!

Richard Hull
Manhattan Astrophysics.pdf
(6.15 MiB) Downloaded 105 times
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
The more complex the idea put forward by the poor amateur, the more likely it will never see embodiment
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