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Ultrafast Supercomputer To Simulate Nuke Explosion

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posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 02:57 PM
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By Adam Tanner

LIVERMORE, California (Reuters) - Leading nuclear scientists with top security clearances will gather next summer at a screening room east of San Francisco and witness the results of the greatest effort ever in supercomputing.

Using a computer doing 360 trillion calculations a second, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Lab will simulate the explosion of an aging nuclear bomb in three dimensions. The short, highly detailed video produced by the world's fastest computer will attempt to illustrate how missiles dating back to the Nixon administration would perform today.
Nuclear scientists are going to do the simulation of nuke explosion:
"My job ... is to ensure that the nuclear weapons in the stockpile are safe and reliable," said Bruce Goodwin, associate director for defense and nuclear technologies. "Safe means no matter what you do to them they don't go off when they are not supposed to. Reliable means that should the president ever have to use one, it will work exactly as it is supposed to."

The United States has about 10,000 nuclear war.s as a deterrent against attack. Washington stopped real nuclear tests in 1992, a year after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996.


complete story

Why do they need to do this simulation? Is nuclear war a.? Americam military is planing to use Nukes??


(don't know what has happened my text got lost
)

[edit on 27-12-2004 by jazzgul]

[edit on 27-12-2004 by jazzgul]




posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 03:01 PM
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because we don't do real tests anymore. We have been computer testing them for awhile.

[edit on 27-12-2004 by Skibum]



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by jazzgul


Why do they need to do this simulation? Is nuclear war a.? Americam military is planing to use Nukes??



[edit on 27-12-2004 by jazzgul]


Simple - we don't do real tests anymore so we use computer simulations. Atomic weapons constantly decay and damage themselves - to ensure that the weapons in our stockpile still work and are still safe we must do some sort of testing.

This is of course the reason the US was willing to fund the IBM Blue Gene/L - the worlds fastest computer (and many of the worlds fastest computers before this).



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 03:26 PM
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At least, the good point with that is that they don't build a bomb and explode it to see if it worked!


Though no computer simulation will ever be perfect, it is good to see that a lot of effort is put into predicting the results of the use of such devastation...



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 03:26 PM
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yeah, no real simulation, I do understand that, but why to do a computer one -must be the reason for it -that is my question. Or maybe nuke simulations are just year to year scheduled ???

[edit on 27-12-2004 by jazzgul]



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 03:44 PM
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Originally posted by jazzgul
(...)
why to do a computer one
(...)
[edit on 27-12-2004 by jazzgul]


What else than computer simulation?

Btw, some people are paid to run simulations of traffic flow in cities. It would be simpler to go down on the street and witness the actual situation, no? But to those people, the simulation has some validity that even reality hasn't (ie reality is a particular situation, at a given moment in time, while a simulation can be a general situation, not attached to a particular time). The fact is that the simulation can bring averages and ranges for data after several test, modifying a bit the circumstances of the simulation test, etc., and it would be difficult (or dangerous!) to test that in a sufficient number of occurences to have actual averages. Sometimes, like here, it is better to have data issued by computers and dirtied by some unwanted errors, but at least we have a margin in which we can reasonably expect reality to be. Statistics, that is...



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by jazzgul
yeah, no real simulation, I do understand that, but why to do a computer one -must be the reason for it -that is my question. Or maybe nuke simulations are just year to year scheduled ???

[edit on 27-12-2004 by jazzgul]


It's not a one time thing. Many of the worlds fastest computers have been working on calculations like continuosly for years. The conference mentioned in the first post was probably just for the first results from this computer....



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 05:02 PM
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I agree with SPOOKY VINCE in the fact that only here in America, we can be sure to make every effort to know that our nuclear weapons and other various forms of WMD's are up to the highest standards of quality control.



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by FLYIN HIGH
I agree with SPOOKY VINCE in the fact that only here in America, we can be sure to make every effort to know that our nuclear weapons and other various forms of WMD's are up to the highest standards of quality control.


Well at least, in America, you DO have WMDs...



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 05:36 PM
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another reason why they dont use actual tests on wmd's is pollution.

we cant continue to abuse our atmostphere, even though we do everyday....


[edit on 27-12-2004 by topsecretombomb]



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 05:40 PM
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Originally posted by Skibum
because we don't do real tests anymore. We have been computer testing them for awhile.

[edit on 27-12-2004 by Skibum]


Amen to that. Those things are dangerous, even when stored. I've heard stories of sixteen year olds hacking into military bases and then told that they could have endangered nations because they (at the time) had the ability to launch missles remotely from the base.



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 07:39 PM
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Originally posted by faddinglight

Originally posted by Skibum
because we don't do real tests anymore. We have been computer testing them for awhile.

[edit on 27-12-2004 by Skibum]


Amen to that. Those things are dangerous, even when stored. I've heard stories of sixteen year olds hacking into military bases and then told that they could have endangered nations because they (at the time) had the ability to launch missles remotely from the base.


That is completely false. The nuclear command and control system at no point utilizes networked computers, and requires (at many different levels) human intervention.... and this has ALWAYS been the case (in the US)



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 08:40 PM
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Nukes use an element called tritium in order to sequence the initial detenation. As the tritium ages it becomes unstable and thus the nuke becomes unpredictable. I think this is covered somewhere else.
We are also out of tritium and have been using the old soviet nukes as our best source for the element.



posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 10:12 PM
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Originally posted by popeye0314
Nukes use an element called tritium in order to sequence the initial detenation. As the tritium ages it becomes unstable and thus the nuke becomes unpredictable. I think this is covered somewhere else.
We are also out of tritium and have been using the old soviet nukes as our best source for the element.


Umm, not quite. Thermonuclear weapons use Dueterium (One proton and 2 nuetrons) to fuse and boost yeild. Typically the Hydrogen (as Tritium and Dueterium are both hydrogen) is bonded with Lithium in order to make it easier to store and more dense (a solid rather than a liquid/gas).

And it is extremely easy to make both tritium and dueterium, just bombard water with nuetrons (virtually all of the dueterium in US and Russian weapons was seperated from the cooling water from nuclear reactors). Tritium is unstable, with a half life of 12.3 years, making it unsuitable for weapons with shelf lives of 40+ years (It decays to Helium 3, which is does not fuse well). Dueterium on the other hand, is stable and is what makes "thermonuclear" weapons so special (or as they were initially called - Hydrogen bombs)....

The plutonium and/or uranium in the (fissile) core however are unstable - but with faily long half lives. The real issue is that the radiation released by the fissile materiel eventually causes the chemical explosive that triggers the weapon to degrade... (The main culprit are high energy alpha particles, however U-233 was once tried and it was found that the extremely high energy gamma common to U-233 would cause the chemical explosives to essentially become mush in a matter of months.... )

This may clarify why continued weapons testing is neccisary...



posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 01:23 AM
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Well this all sounds cool...When this test does happen someone has to link that video up to a post...I wanna watch!!!



posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 04:21 AM
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Originally posted by faddinglight

Originally posted by Skibum
because we don't do real tests anymore. We have been computer testing them for awhile.

[edit on 27-12-2004 by Skibum]


Amen to that. Those things are dangerous, even when stored. I've heard stories of sixteen year olds hacking into military bases and then told that they could have endangered nations because they (at the time) had the ability to launch missles remotely from the base.




sounds like that movie "War Games"



posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 05:56 AM
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That's the point - we don't test anymore because of treaties - we simulate and via those sims can adjust the input params to play what if's. I'm sure there is a growing mound of data that they look at and when a statistically significant issue is met, they take a monster apart and see if the guts pan out with the sim data.

Sims are beautiful and in many simple physical cases they can be quite accurate - most airfoils are CFD sim'd these days well before any wind tunnel work. F1 racing cars and many other 3d shapes are also sim'd but there are still some issues with boundary layer and compressibility effects so they still have to do wind tunnel/real world tests. Same in yacht racing hull design and many other areas - casting cooling, heat flows etc, FEW and stress analysis etc....


IBM

posted on Mar, 25 2005 @ 11:40 PM
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Ahhhh I see. And as the screen from the simulation shone, a scientist exclaimed "Let their be Light."



posted on Mar, 27 2005 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by IBM
Ahhhh I see. And as the screen from the simulation shone, a scientist exclaimed "Let their be Light."


And the physicist exclaimed "let there be critical mass with inertial confinement breaking the Coulomb barrier"



posted on Mar, 27 2005 @ 03:11 PM
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And the rest of the world shouted "let there be a bunker"...




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