1994-08-25 - Re: Nuclear Weapons Material

Header Data

From: Mikolaj Habryn <dichro@tartarus.uwa.edu.au>
To: perry@imsi.com
Message Hash: 33b1abb84e0df4e6377457e8ccbd8076602d6850a226f9b92bab2c92762a491c
Message ID: <199408250405.MAA02369@lethe.uwa.edu.au>
Reply To: <9408241310.AA03276@snark.imsi.com>
UTC Datetime: 1994-08-25 04:10:13 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 24 Aug 94 21:10:13 PDT

Raw message

From: Mikolaj Habryn <dichro@tartarus.uwa.edu.au>
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 94 21:10:13 PDT
To: perry@imsi.com
Subject: Re: Nuclear Weapons Material
In-Reply-To: <9408241310.AA03276@snark.imsi.com>
Message-ID: <199408250405.MAA02369@lethe.uwa.edu.au>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> In a fusion, or H Bomb, the tritium (which is just hydrogen with an
> extra two neutrons) is that which produces the boom -- the main fuel,
> as it were. Its a "neutron source" only in the weakest possible sense
> -- the same way dynamite might be considered to need nitroglycerine as
> a "neutron source". (I'm not sure that people outside of the bomb
> building industry really know *for sure* what the geometries used in
> the atomic weapon that sets off the fusion reaction.)

	This also depends on the type of bomb. In a two-stage fusion
bomb, you are quite correct - the tritium-deuterium/tritium fusion
reaction gives the boom. However, in a three-stage bomb, there is an
additional fission reaction, this due to the fact that the neutrons
produced by the fusion reaction have the precise energy required to
fission U-238. Since U-238 is vastly easier to obtain than enriched
U-235, there is no great problem with sticking in half a tonne of it.
Around that you can add cobalt jackets, etc, for more interesting

*       *       Mikolaj J. Habryn
    *           "I'm just another sniper on the information super-highway."
                PGP Public key available by finger
    *           #include <standard-disclaimer.h>