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]
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.
Originally posted by tiddly54
Isnt the critical mass defined by the surface area to internal volume ratio?
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.
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?