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Smallest possible nuke

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posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 08:49 PM
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the old Hiroshima type atomic bombs ("fat man",ect.) used a large wedge of uraniun (238?) and basicaly made it into the projectile of a very large "bullet" which was then fired directly at/into a 4 or 5 pound ball of uranium the force initiating the fission process,right? whats the smallest amount/qty. of uranium/plutonium,ect. you could use and still have enough for critical mass/nuclear explosion? A golfball sized projectile of uranium/plutonium fired into a baseball sized ball of uranium/plutonium? A 50 cal. sized projectile fired into a handball sized ball of uranium?A 30 cal sized projectile fired into a ball as big around as a silver dollar? A .22 cal. sized projectile fired into a grape-sized ball of uranium/plutonium?




posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 08:58 PM
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the smallest i know of are a couple of inches in diameter that is required to able to detonate successfully as a nuclear bomb. even if its possible, its expensive and i cant imagine firing a .50 cal full of nuclear rounds. imagine all those small mushroom clouds.


o yeah the smallest weapon right now its the Davy Crockett which is a small nuclear artillery weapon.

[edit on 4-10-2005 by deltaboy]



posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 10:44 PM
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How about a nano sized kinetic into a mustard seed?
Could you imagine a controled nuclear charge contained within a projectile no bigger than this period.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 05:28 AM
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Originally posted by deltaboy
the smallest i know of are a couple of inches in diameter that is required to able to detonate successfully as a nuclear bomb. even if its possible, its expensive and i cant imagine firing a .50 cal full of nuclear rounds. imagine all those small mushroom clouds.


o yeah the smallest weapon right now its the Davy Crockett which is a small nuclear artillery weapon.

[edit on 4-10-2005 by deltaboy]



The smallest nukes are using the W54 warhead fired from the W338 , it had a yield of between 10 and 250 tons

it was also used as a SADM (Special Atomic Demolition Munition) used by special forces and was also tested for use in the AIM-26A Falcon nuclear tipped A2A missile.



The davy crockett with W54 warhead





The SADM with W54 warhead



SARH and IR versions of the AIM-26A nuclear Falcon

the AIM-26B was the non nuclear version.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 05:44 AM
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The critical masses of several element isotopes are available here: Wikipedia

So device would have to be big enough to contain at least the appropriate amount of matter of the element used.


xu

posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 06:04 AM
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excuse me for hijacking, but...




when I looked at it I was sure this was a joke and a quiet funny one,

at first sight it appears as if the soldier at the right side is holding a big barrel and a baloon attached to its tip.

guy- "hey guys check this number out!"
gang- "wohoh, thas hooo chool maan"


anyway I should say at least something on topic. if that is really a nuclear device, than it should have some good range for the soldiers to escape the side effects. thats why there is no point of inventing a nuclear hand grenade I guess.



posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 12:33 AM
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anyway I should say at least something on topic. if that is really a nuclear device, than it should have some good range for the soldiers to escape the side effects. thats why there is no point of inventing a nuclear hand grenade I guess.


It's real, but it didn't have the range they wanted.

Davy Crockett nuclear RPG

[edit on 8-10-2005 by NWguy83]



posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 03:52 AM
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djohnsto77 got it right theres a limit to how small you can make a nuke.

If Red Mercury exist and works like people claim you could be able to make some really small and powerful fusion bombs . If it works like advertised, it might be used to make a softball-sized bomb with a yield of two megatons

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 06:55 AM
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We had this one a couple of months back. A weapon based on nuclear isomers rather than fission can be arbitratily small. Ditton and antimatter weapon.
However, not much point. What you need is smarter sweapons, not more indiscriminate ones.



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 04:30 AM
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Isnt the critical mass defined by the surface area to internal volume ratio?

i was taught that there need to be a certain ratio to ensure enough free neutrons would cause fission and not be lost to outside the mass, and would stay within the mass to cause the chain reaction



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 04:39 AM
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Originally posted by tiddly54
Isnt the critical mass defined by the surface area to internal volume ratio?


Yes, it depends on the shape. The masses in the wiki link were for spheres, the most efficient shape.



posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 06:54 AM
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this is interesting.

Soviet suit case bombs.


A "suitcase" bomb is a very compact and portable nuclear weapon and could have the dimensions of 60 x 40 x 20 centimeters or 24 x 16 x 8 inches. The smallest possible bomb-like object would be a single critical mass of plutonium (or U-233) at maximum density under normal conditions. The Pu-239 weighs 10.5 kg and is 10.1 cm across. It doesn't take much more than a single critical mass to cause significant explosions ranging from 10-20 tons. These types of weapons can also be as big as two footlockers. The warhead consists of a tube with two pieces of uranium, which, when rammed together, would cause a blast. Some sort of firing unit and a device that would need to be decoded to cause detonation may be included in the "suitcase."

Another portable weapon is a "backpack" bomb. The Soviet nuclear backpack system was made in the 1960s for use against NATO targets in time of war and consists of three "coffee can-sized" aluminum canisters in a bag. All three must be connected to make a single unit in order to explode. The detonator is about 6 inches long. It has a 3-to-5 kiloton yield, depending on the efficiency of the explosion. It's kept powered during storage by a battery line connected to the canisters.

www.foxnews.com...

Its it pssible to make one?
nuclearweaponarchive.org...


Response.
nuclearweaponarchive.org...

Possible nucluar suit case bomb mock up



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 02:14 AM
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Originally posted by SgtRock
the old Hiroshima type atomic bombs ("fat man",ect.) used a large wedge of uraniun (238?) and basicaly made it into the projectile of a very large "bullet" which was then fired directly at/into a 4 or 5 pound ball of uranium the force initiating the fission process,right? whats the smallest amount/qty. of uranium/plutonium,ect. you could use and still have enough for critical mass/nuclear explosion? A golfball sized projectile of uranium/plutonium fired into a baseball sized ball of uranium/plutonium? A 50 cal. sized projectile fired into a handball sized ball of uranium?A 30 cal sized projectile fired into a ball as big around as a silver dollar? A .22 cal. sized projectile fired into a grape-sized ball of uranium/plutonium?




the uranium for bombs is u235. u238 surrounds the 235 since it reflects neutrons quite well.

plutonium can't be used for the gun type as fission will start before the two pieces mate. 235 on the other hand can be used for either implosion or gun.

critical mass can be made two ways. you can simply put two sub critical masses together or you can compress a subcritical mass in an implosion bringing the density higher than is needed for a chain reaction. in the center of the implosion device will be a good source of neutrons or a trigger as it is called.



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 03:24 PM
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Careful not to confuse critical mass with super or prompt critical.

A critical mass of Plutonium will just melt under normal conditionsm, and give off lots and lots of ionising radiation of course.

For prompt criticality you need a reflector or a very large amount of fissionable material, i.e. you really need a reflector. And the thickness of the reflector (and thus its efficiency) is a factor in the equation.

Of course then you have the question of Isomers, and then it all gets slightly theoretical and very scary when you start to talk about hand grenade sized bombs that can bring down a skyscraper.



posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 05:18 AM
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smallest nuke - my sarcastic answer was going to be - " a fraction smaller than the 155mm nuclear artillery shell " - as you coud i presume reduce the casing thickness if it didnt have to survive firing pressure and g-force

as shown here :

link

what i didnt reallise was that only one was tested by the US , namely atomic annie

link

I know they had stockpiles of 8" [ 203MM ] projectiles , and later 155mm - it just amazed me that a test fire had never been preformed

now does that mean they were never tested ? or they were developed after the various treaties on test bans so they had to be tested underground - and the US had faith that the technology would work when fired from a howitzer ?

but these were withdrawn starting 1991 and according to this site , the last was de activated in 2003

as reported here :

link


you learn something new every day



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 06:58 AM
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In the gun type in the moment when the 2 pieces of fissionable material (uranium23whatever) first contact each other doesnt the atoms on the surface start the chain which multiplies exposentialy (atoms split coliding w/splitting more atoms,ect,ect) ? i mean it starts w/ the first ones to colide,not all of the atoms at once,right? so why cant you just use a max surface area w/ just 2 grams of material not 1.5 kg?



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 06:25 AM
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Everyone should know THIS is the world's smallest nuclear weapon system!


See site for pictures!

Gotta love Birdman...(RIP





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