background preloader

Nuclear Weapons - basic technology concepts [UNC]

Nuclear Weapons - basic technology concepts [UNC]
A few words about nuclear weapons technology.. Fission weapons Nuclear weapons exploit two principle physical, or more specifically nuclear, properties of certain substances: fission and fusion. Fission is possible in a number of heavy elements, but in weapons it is principally confined to what is termed slow neutron fission in just two particular isotopes: 235U and 239Pu. These are termed fissile, and are the source of energy in atomic weapons. An explosive chain reaction can be started with relatively slight energy input (so-called slow neutrons) in such material. An actual 239Pu ingot, alloyed with gallium for improved physical properties Isotopes are 'varieties' of an element which differ only in their number of neutrons. Typical appearance of a thermonuclear weapon detonation -- from many miles away. *Special techniques were required to record the fleeting moments of a weapon's initial detonation.

Related:  Hardware

New military goggles combine nightvision and thermal imaging Nightvision and thermal imaging play similar -- but very distinct -- roles on the modern battlefield. Soldiers utilize night vision to illuminate their darkened surroundings while thermal imaging is employed to illuminate darkened targets. But until now, soldiers have had to carry separate imaging systems for each, which negatively impacts how quickly they can switch optics and acquire their targets. BAE Systems, however, announced Monday a new kind of optic that packs the functionality of both into a single unit. "On today's battlefield, this slower [two optic] approach, which is often further hampered by heavy smoke or bad weather, compromises soldiers' safety and can reduce mission effectiveness," a BAE release reads. "By integrating night vision and thermal targeting capabilities into one sight displayed on the soldiers' goggles, BAE Systems' new solution allows troops to more easily acquire targets and engage faster."

Is the Universe a Holographic Reality? - Global One TV The Universe as a Hologram by Michael Talbot Does Objective Reality Exist, or is the Universe a Phantasm? In 1982 a remarkable event took place. At the University of Paris a research team led by physicist Alain Aspect performed what may turn out to be one of the most important experiments of the 20th century. You did not hear about it on the evening news. In fact, unless you are in the habit of reading scientific journals you probably have never even heard Aspect's name, though there are some who believe his discovery may change the face of science. The F-35 Fighter Program: America Going Down in Flames W.J. Astore This past weekend, CBS 60 Minutes did a segment on the F-35 fighter program. The basic facts are these: the program is seven years behind schedule and $163 billion over budget. Yes, you read that right: Not $163 million, but $163 billion. The lead contractor, Lockheed Martin, is essentially unapologetic about the delays and cost overruns.

Einstein for Everyone Einstein for Everyone Nullarbor Press 2007revisions 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Copyright 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 John D. Norton Published by Nullarbor Press, 500 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260 with offices in Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15222 All Rights Reserved John D. Different Planes, Common Problems Part 4 of 5 All good fighter jets are designed to climb into the sky. Unfortunately for the F-35, its price tag — as we have pointed out this week — is joining in the ascent as its fiscal wingman. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re kicking the tires of the Air Force or Navy variants, as you can see in this chart.

Singularity Theory May Explain Fermi Paradox The Drake equation demonstrates that due to the vast scope of our universe, it is highly unlikely that there is not intelligent life other than us. The Fermi paradox ponders why (considering the results from the Drake equation) we have not yet detected any other intelligent life. Singularity theory anticipates a point in time where rapid growth in intelligence and replication create a border that is like an asymptote or singularity threshold beyond which lies an undefinable area that is not comparable to what we currently know as intelligence.

US Military's Hypersonic Jet Could Fly 5 Times the Speed of Sound The U.S. military is reportedly developing a hypersonic jet plane that could soar at up to five times the speed of sound — faster than a bullet, which generally travels at Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound. The new hypersonic vehicle, which could take flight by 2023, builds upon research from a 2013 test flight of an experimental hypersonic vehicle, the X-51A Waverider, according to The $300 million X-51A program began in 2004. The program's final test flight occurred May 1, 2013, when the unmanned Waverider reached a top speed of Mach 5.1 (more than five times the speed of sound) in just over six minutes, before it was intentionally crashed into the Pacific Ocean. At the time, U.S. Air Force officials said the flight was the longest-ever for a hypersonic vehicle of its kind.

XM25 Prototypes in testing – 500% lethality increase over existing weapon systems May 27, 2005 The XM25 Advanced Airburst Weapon System is an entirely new class of weapon that takes the concept of a grenade launcher and adds some smarts, thereby increasing the probability of hit-to-kill performance by up to 500 percent over existing weapons. The advanced design allows the soldier to program the air bursting 25mm round so that it flies to the target and detonates at a precise point in the air. It does not require impact to detonate and is hence capable of defeating an enemy behind a wall, inside a building or in a foxhole. Alliant Techsystems has delivered the first six prototype XM25 advanced airbursting weapon systems to the U.S.

South Korea's autonomous robot gun turrets: deadly from kilometers away If there's one place you don't want to be caught wandering around right now, it's the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea. Especially since South Korean military hardware manufacturer DoDAMM used the recent Korea Robot World 2010 expo to display its new Super aEgis 2, an automated gun turret that can detect and lock onto human targets from kilometers away, day or night and in any weather conditions, and deliver some heavy firepower. The border between North and South Korea is a pretty amazing strip of land. US Army tests remote controlled weapon towers One of the more unpleasant aspects of army life has always been guard duty. It's also very labor intensive. In the US Army, it takes four to six soldiers standing for up to 12 hours to man a single perimeter weapons system.

How Syria is becoming a test bed for high-tech weapons of electronic warfare The relationship between Russia and the West is becoming increasingly dangerous with potential flashpoints developing in both eastern Europe and Syria. After repeated incursions into Turkish airspace by Russian warplanes on bombing raids over Syria, NATO’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg warned Moscow that it stands ready to “defend all allies”. Meanwhile Britain announced it would send troops to Baltic states to defend NATO’s eastern boundaries against possible Russian aggression beyond Ukraine. Russia’s military presence in Syria has been steadily increasing over the past few months.

US Army tests drone-killing 50 mm cannon While civilian countermeasures to combat malicious drones is moving toward UAV-freezing radio beams, the US Army is taking a more permanent approach. Under development by the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, the Enhanced Area Protection and Survivability (EAPS) system used steerable 50 mm smart rounds to shoot down two drones in recent tests.

The U.K. Will Attack ISIS With a Missile the U.S. Could Only Dream Of ​While the British Parliament was debating this week whether to join in airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, one weapon was mentioned repeatedly: Brimstone. In a 36-page report, Prime Minister David Cameron said, "The Brimstone missile which enables us to strike accurately with low collateral damage, therefore increasing the scope for strikes against specific ISIL targets—even the U.S. do not possess this capability." Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Indeed, Brimstone proved itself and its capability against tanks in Libya, to the point that the British paper The Telegraph called it the "British missile envied by the U.S."