Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Inner Geek is Coming Out

Samuel Glasstone, ed., The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, rev. ed.  This is the authoritative edition of how nuclear weapons destroy things.  While full of detailed technical discussions and formulae, many parts are intentionally written for those who have no idea what an "isotope" is.  Why do buildings at ground zero for an airburst sometimes survive better than those a ways back?  The Mach effect, when the blast wave from the bomb and the reflected blast wave bouncing off the ground meet, providing a combine overpressure at the side of buildings.  An overpressure on top of a building is pushing it in the building's strongest position: resisting gravity.

6 comments:

w rorke said...

You can find pdfs of it on the web.

James Gibson said...

Does he have anything in that book on Electro-Magnetic Pulse. So much that is on-line regarding EMP is contradictory and highly emotional. Above all I have concluded that phone lines today will not catch fire and fall to the ground as they did during a Russian nuclear test in the early 1960s. A little matter that we have replaced all copper wire phone lines with Fiber-optic (with possibly the exception of Rustic Idaho homes).

Clayton Cramer said...

In chapter 10. And Rorke: my copy is accessible after EMP has taken down the Internet.

w rorke said...

After EMP takes down the internet you will no longer care about Glasstone. Ref Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

w rorke said...

Thread hijack to EMP: An EM pulse has energy distributed over a range of frequencies. The narrower that band, the greater fraction of the energy at peak frequency, but the less energy available at other frequencies. Those frequencies couple into target systems based largely on the target system dimensions. Microcircuits are affected by high frequencies and typically do not require much energy to damage. Power grids are affected by low frequencies and typically require lots of energy to damage.

The effectiveness of an EMP depends upon these trades. One EM pulse is unlikely to damage both large and small. Of course, two ...

Clayton Cramer said...

At that point, yes those details will not much matter.