270 – Nuclear Weapons

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Guest: Alex Wellerstein    Host: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Andy Joiner

In this episode we chat about the science and engineering involved in nuclear weapons. Our guest is Alex Wellerstein of the Stevens Institute of Technology. We talk about atomic bombs as well as hydrogen bombs, how to refine the necessary fuels as well as a little bit of history.

A few specific links, as mentioned on the episode:

And as is almost an unfortunate tradition, I forgot to mention all of those of you who helped me prepare the episode with your input: Patrick Hosford, Daniel Merrlin Rüscher, Christopher Fredette, Sebastian Knapp, Benn Britton, Bernd Hart, MalteJ, Szymon Bartus, and Karsten Schmidt. Thank you :-)

Introduction Alex

00:03:54

Alex Wellerstein | Stevens Institute of Technology | Nukemap

Critical Mass

00:19:44

Los Alamos | Critical Assembly | Spontaneous Fission Rates | Fissile Materials | Uranium 235 | Plutonium 238 | Enriched Uranium | Fission Factor, k <ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_chain_reaction#Effective_neutron_multiplication_factor> | TNT | Kiloton and Megaton | Reflector | Beryllium | Density | Bare Sphere Critical Mass

Fusion

00:26:54

Nuclear Fusion | Coulomb Repulsion | Coulomb Barrier | Kinetic Energy | 200MeV Uranium | 14MeV Deuterium/Tritium

Weapons Effects

00:34:02

Pressure, Heat, Radiation, Electromagnetic | Fireball | Blast Wave/Pressure Wave | Thermal Pulse | Blast of Neutrons and Gamma Rays | Fallout | Electromagnetic | Flammability | Hiroshima | Blast Amplification | Ideal Height | Decay | Nagasaki | Detonation | Hydrogen bomb | Cold War | Missile | Yield | ICBM

Hydrogen Bomb Development

01:50:16

Yeld-to-Weight Ratio | Always/Never Problem | Irradiating | Stockpile Stewardship | B61 | B83 | Warhead | Triad | Centrifuge

North Korea

02:17:52

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