1994-08-25 - Re: Nuclear Weapons Material

Header Data

From: cjl <cjl@welchlink.welch.jhu.edu>
To: “Perry E. Metzger” <perry@imsi.com>
Message Hash: 47125ada97ec4a57cfa554bbd20a437351e2819c51409d358faa357444e2cba3
Message ID: <Pine.3.89.9408242000.A25296-0100000@welchlink.welch.jhu.edu>
Reply To: <9408241310.AA03276@snark.imsi.com>
UTC Datetime: 1994-08-25 00:25:36 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 24 Aug 94 17:25:36 PDT

Raw message

From: cjl <cjl@welchlink.welch.jhu.edu>
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 94 17:25:36 PDT
To: "Perry E. Metzger" <perry@imsi.com>
Subject: Re: Nuclear Weapons Material
In-Reply-To: <9408241310.AA03276@snark.imsi.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9408242000.A25296-0100000@welchlink.welch.jhu.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Wed, 24 Aug 1994, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> 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.)
> Perry
Since the bomb thread won't die a seemly death I thought I'd throw in my
.00000002 megabucks.  Modern H bombs are actually fission-fusion-fission
devices. The traditional U-235 (or Pu-239) atomic bomb sets off a fusion 
reaction burning the tritium, producing alot of fast neutrons that in turn
sets off another fission explosion in the otherwise non-fissile U-238 
that is wrapped around the outside of the bomb.  More bang for the buck, 
and it gives you something to do with all that U-238 you got while 
purifying the U-235.

C. J. Leonard                     (    /      "DNA is groovy"
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