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Old 12-15-2020, 06:30 PM   #27
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: [Vehicles] How big should a self-destruct be?

Originally Posted by DataPacRat View Post
By the by, does anyone know offhand how much conventional explosive is used in a typical A-bomb, to compress the fissionables to criticality?
Probably classified, though it's going to depend on what you're trying to do with it (technically, you can get a criticality without any explosives, it just disassembles itself before producing much of an explosion).
Originally Posted by DataPacRat View Post
Also, while I'm thinking about it, how about how much gamma-emitting metastable isomer do you need to have before throwing in some tritium or other fusables would start adding to the explosive force?
The problem with using it for a super tiny fusion weapon is that the explosive product is 2.5 MeV gamma rays, which will not be efficiently absorbed by a compact fusion target (this also limits the minimum practical size, as you need to wrap it in enough shielding to efficiently absorb gamma; a couple centimeters of lead is adequate. Of course, if you're just interested in destroying electronics, just expose it directly, you can wipe electronics with much less radiation than it takes to melt or vaporize the chips).
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3rd edition, antimatter, self destruct, vehicles

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