Originally posted by snoopy
My reference to the first bomb was referring to little boy which did not use a berilyum polunium initiator. Thus it's possible to have a bomb without
the use of that material.
Well, it did, it used a BePo "ABNER" initiator. Again, that's not the round "urchin" topology. And the first bomb ever detonated was in fact a
Fat Man design which uses a BePo "URCHIN" initiator. But you can in fact do without an initiator on a gun-type bomb. Just not on any other sort,
with the possible exception of the "alternate topology" sort, which can do without if you plan it just right.
Just because something fizzles doesn't mean it won't cause damage. When we hear the term fizzle we think it means a dud that does nothing. But keep
in mind that Little boy was 98.5% fizzle and it leveled Hiroshima.
You generally only term it a fizzle if it fails to meet design specs by an order of magnitude. They actually got more out of Little Boy than they
Most modern weapons do NOT use polonium. It's a real pain in the tukhas to make, and the upkeep's a pain in the butt. The current strategy is to use
neutron tubes, zippers or "other".
The raw fact here, though, is that you can purchase a neutron tube from the Thermo division of Fisher Scientific, that's where Sandia gets theirs.
You can also buy them from:
EADS Sodern and last but not least
the All Russia Research Institute of Automatics (literal translation)
This is not an exhaustive list, but it's the ones that come to mind immediately.
If you get them domestically, you have to have an NRC tritium license, but if you get them from EADS you don't.
Let's see...you can also use a "zipper" which is sort of a small cyclotron. Given the outstanding strength of modern permanent magnets, I'd be
surprised if you couldn't make some improvements on that one.
Oh, and let's not forget the plasma focus, which would do a lovely job, it's a bit bigger than a neutron tube at about 4" in diameter and 6-8"