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Old 12-12-2012, 08:58 AM   #41
Flyndaran
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Originally Posted by Kage2020 View Post
I would be interested in seeing that. Do you happen to have a link to it or the username/email of the creator?
Digging through my years of printed out house rules, I actually found it. It's been so long, the binder is covered in dust.

The author was M.A. Lloyd, and... I'm not good at web-searching, but got lucky.

http://dataweaver.tripod.com/play/Voodoo/

The mystery I mentioned is under the Path of Glamour: Objectify

Thanks for asking and making me take a trip through the recesses of my foggy memory. :)
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:20 AM   #42
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
My knowledge of this subject is of course as sketchy as most peoples, but wouldn't you be able to manufacture Fe-60 in a particle accelerator?
Generally speaking you'd manufacture it in a nuclear reactor by neutron irradiation of iron. It's hard to produce because Fe-59 is unstable with a half-life of 44 days, so what you'll mostly get is a bunch of Cobalt-60 with a bit of Iron-60 mixed in. It's probably easier to produce radioisotopes of common alloying agents; Nickel-59 is unstable with a half-life of 76,000 years, Nickel-62 is unstable with a half-life of 100 years, and both are produced from a single neutron absorption for a naturally occurring isotope.

Last edited by Anthony; 12-12-2012 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:12 AM   #43
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Originally Posted by Disliker of the mary sue View Post
Hm okay after reading a bit on the other thread on meteor swords... the conclusion seems to be it just normal iron at best. The only thing that would be special would maybe people would think it has magical powers. Other wise it probably just be just an ceremonial sword you'd be better off selling then actually using.
Why not dupe people into buying your normal-iron swords instead, by claiming they're made of Thunderbolt Iron(tm)? That's much cheaper and much more profitable.

In my Ärth setting, it's fairly common (especially for Varangians) to pass off narwhal tusks as unicorn horns. Especially shortened ones, because they look more convincing (usually gaining you more $/pound than unshortened ones). The same was almost certainly done historically, although probably not so often (even though in our timeline, real unicorms never existed).

Historically, there were counterfeit brand name swords in the 10th century. Maybe 9th too (not my period, so not sure). Look up Uflberth.

I'm sure there's a market for fake meteoric iron swords.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:15 AM   #44
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Hm okay changing the subject a little, what would a sword made out of a radioactive material be like? Can radioactive metals be forged into swords in the first place and if so how sturdy would they be? Also how fast would the radiation kill you if you used such a sword as your regular weapon. I'd start a new thread but it seems too similar a question to do so. I'm thinking at best it be a normal blade equal to something made of bronze with maybe a reputation as cursed blade in a society without knowledge of radioactivity.
I think you're underestimating bronze.

As far as I know, bronze is almost as tough as iron, or can be made that tough anyway. The reason we switched from bronze to iron was because bronze requires two rare metals, copper and tin, which don't occur anywhere near each other in geological terms, whereas iron only requires iron which is comparatively much more abundant.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:16 AM   #45
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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It would be radioactive, I believe. It emits alpha particles (helium nuclei), which are stopped by the epidermis. Alpha emitters are mostly dangerous if inhaled or ingested, I believe.
But how many rads would it give off per time unit? As far as I know, naturally occuring uranium has an absolutely ginormously long half-life, which suggests to me that it doesn't exactly spam ionizing particles at its surroundings.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:32 PM   #46
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
I think you're underestimating bronze.

As far as I know, bronze is almost as tough as iron, or can be made that tough anyway. The reason we switched from bronze to iron was because bronze requires two rare metals, copper and tin, which don't occur anywhere near each other in geological terms, whereas iron only requires iron which is comparatively much more abundant.
Iron doesn't begin to surpass bronze until the intricacies of quench-hardened steel are understood. Neil Burridge recently demonstrated this on video. He had the same swords made from both wrought iron and bronze and hit them edge to edge. The bronze blades destroyed the iron ones.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:12 PM   #47
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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But how many rads would it give off per time unit?
That's a fairly meaningless question, because the units aren't compatible, but trying to answer this in a sensible way, U-238 has a half-life of 1.4e+17s, meaning the portion decaying every second is roughly 5e-18. Decay energy is 4.27 MeV, but it rapidly (days) undergoes beta decay (270 keV), and then again (minutes) under goes beta decay (2.27 MeV) into U-234, which is generally it on the short term, so the total is 6.81 MeV of radiation. 6.81 MeV/238amu = 2.7e12J/kg, so total is 1.4e-5W/kg. One gram of ingested uranium would thus be 1.4e-8W; for a 70 kg 'GURPS normal' that works out to 2e-8 rads/sec, or 0.63 rads/year. Natural uranium chemically separated from ore will contain U-235 and (stable daughter) U-234 (plus any contaminants which didn't get removed chemically), making it several times as radioactive.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:34 PM   #48
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Historically, there were counterfeit brand name swords in the 10th century. Maybe 9th too (not my period, so not sure). Look up Uflberth.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient...ing-sword.html

A recent Nova episode and quite interesting. Especially watch to the end to see an example of the "Smith-as-magician".

Anyway, I believe it was swords marked +ULFBERT+H that were authentic and made of crucible steel (and unique to the region).

The imitators corrected the spelling to +ULFBERTH+ but made their swords out of cheap iron.

Ihe "plus" signs are equal-armed "Greek" crosses and apparetnly before and after the name would signify a Bishop or Abbott. The name also seems to be medieval Frankish.

No one knows why the mispelled name of a Frankish Bishop appeared on early Viking swords made from steel from thousands of miles away. A trade route based on interior river traffic isn't particularly improbable but it is only the +ULFBERT+H swords that were ever made of crucible steel.
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