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[P]
Nuke@Home

By MotorMachineMercenary in Science
Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 07:55:15 AM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)
Humour

My computer is on 24/7 fighting off trojans, viruses and worms and downloading big-tit porn. Since the various P2P applications, IRC and USENET downloaders I have running simultaneously don't use that many CPU cycles I've used my spare CPU cycles to do some good. I started taking part in several crypto challenges, helping break DES and RSA 56 and 64. After them I've run SETI@Home since its first weeks. That amounts to 17353 hours (723 days, a week short of two years) with 1370 work units completed. I've contemplated on folding proteins or cancer research but I've always thought that when it comes to the big picture finding extra-terrestrial intelligence trounces all of our little mundane problems. But just as I'm sure of the correctness of my conviction that search for ETs has the highest utility for my spare CPU cycles, I know that there would be one which would have even higher utility: finding the perfect nuclear weapon.

Introducing Nuke@Home.


When Robert Oppenheimer famously declared himself "the destroyer of worlds" he was the first mortal who could justifiably raise himself into a god, if only for a moment. But the early weapons were weak despite the fact that the nuclear physicists were taking bets whether the first test would ignite the atmosphere or not. The two endearingly named little bomblets that were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the biggest man-made explosions humans had seen, but they still only killed a few hundred thousand people at most. Gods constantly remind us that we are just dilettantes in destruction with rampant earthquakes, killer tsunamis and Michael Jackson.

New nuclear weapons are mostly designed using computers because some naïve, ideological leftist tree-huggers don't like us blowing up dead reefs even though they are thousands of miles away from white people. Nuclear tests have been banned for years now although some of the tougher countries along with France still do them to flex their muscles. But modelling nuclear explosions, fissions, fusions and atom decays is tough job for even the fastest computers out there. That's why governments with nuclear weapons spend copious amounts of money building supercomputers to crunch the numbers so we don't have to crunch atolls in the Pacific.

According to the SETI@Home FAQ its distributed computer puts out 15 teraflops. This computing power is more than any known supercomputer. I'm sure there are faster supercomputers deep under the Rockies, Big Ben or the Louvre. But those computers cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build and operate. For a tiny fraction of that money they could build a distributed computing platform, à la SETI@Home, to make the same calculations cheaper and faster.

But like any grand project, there are obstacles. Fortunately none of them are grave. In order of threat level:

  1. OSS zealots. We can't have some enemy agent or terrorist tampering with the program so we need closed source code. OSS zealots would likely balk at this in their typically unpatriotic, anti-capitalistic way and boycott the project. So what? Well, they command much of the potential CPU cycles since they have the best computers ("boxen") to run that video of Janet's nipslip in 1600x1200 with 16+ million colors, smoothly. The solution is to "leak" the source code for Nuke@Home. The little shits will take the source code apart and build their own version which will run faster, better and more efficiently. They will release it and give the results to everyone including the Enemy, using leftover money from donations to buy ads in Financial Times to promote "free" software and other forms of communism. Of course we will have leaked the wrong code and integrate the improvements they will foolishly release os "open source" into our engine. The OSS zealots' CPU cycles are lost but it's better for them to go snipehunting than eroding Microsoft's bottom line further.
  2. The same naïve, ideological leftist tree-huggers who like inhabited wastelands more than national security. These are easy to take care of. When Nuke@Home launches we will do what we should've done before the Cold War ended: put them all in internment camps in the Antarctica chipping ice cubes off the glaciers for our gin&tonics.
  3. Syria. I don't know exactly how they are a threat, but we need to take care of that little shithole terrorist breeding ground before they unleash their suicidal armies on us. They would be taken care of with nukes, preferably.
I am sure we would find hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic, patriotic volunteers for Nuke@Home. Not only that, I see great future for such a project. Nuke@Home could come pre-installed on Windows machines for hefty tax-cuts for Microsoft. Running it for so-and-so many hours would get you tax cuts (these would be appropriately funded by cutting health care). And I'm sure it would quickly become a patriotic duty for people to have Nuke@Home running as a screensaver on their computer, PS2 and toaster. We could even have people checking on their neighbors that they are running Nuke@Home just to make sure they are doing everything they can to rid the world of evil.

I'm personally not interested in such worldly prizes. I want to model those beautiful nuclear mushrooms. I want to lovingly cultivate them on my screen, being anointed by every puff and huff of their plume growing on my screen. I want to experience the same physical engorging as the clouds show. I just want to become god among gods.

This is my chance. And this is also your chance to hobnob with Shiva, Zeus, Ukko and Shaitan. Nuke@Home could result in an orgy of deifications leading to divine enlightenment. Let's make it happen. Call your representative today!

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Poll
Nuke@Home
o I want to become destroyer of worlds, too! 33%
o I want to become death, too! 23%
o I want to rid world of evil, too! 14%
o Nukes are cool! 28%

Votes: 81
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o helping break
o DES
o RSA 56 and 64
o SETI@Home
o folding proteins
o cancer research
o big picture
o Robert Oppenheimer
o FAQ
o Also by MotorMachineMercenary


Display: Sort:
Nuke@Home | 120 comments (78 topical, 42 editorial, 0 hidden)
Source? (2.20 / 5) (#3)
by Psychopath on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 07:38:33 PM EST

I'd be really and honestly interested about a source of this nuclear physicists were taking bets whether the first test would ignite the atmosphere or not thing. Thanks!
--
The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. -- Karl Marx
Yeah, what the hell? (2.57 / 7) (#5)
by Dr Gonzo on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 07:45:46 PM EST

This article has no citations and absolutely no way to verify the facts. This does not belong on K5. -1.

"I felt the warmth spread across my lap as her bladder let loose." - MichaelCrawford
[ Parent ]

I do not like (1.33 / 3) (#6)
by Psychopath on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 07:47:49 PM EST

Gonzos.

Sorry. Personal preference.
--
The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. -- Karl Marx
[ Parent ]

do we really need citations? (2.00 / 4) (#9)
by dtothek on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 08:00:24 PM EST

are you serious man?
-d
[ Parent ]
It's a legitimate concern which I addressed /nt (2.00 / 3) (#11)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 08:05:13 PM EST


--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
Link to xanga homepage in user profile (2.25 / 4) (#15)
by Dr Gonzo on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 08:17:25 PM EST

Figures.

"I felt the warmth spread across my lap as her bladder let loose." - MichaelCrawford
[ Parent ]

lol what (2.00 / 3) (#30)
by Nosf3ratu on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 12:16:05 AM EST

This does not belong on K5. -1.

There's shit that doesn't belong on k5?


Woo!
[ Parent ]

While doing extensive research for this article (3.00 / 7) (#7)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 07:48:42 PM EST

I recalled a story about Russians doing one of the biggest nuclear tests in the 60s around Kamtchatka, IIRC. They stopped the test because they thought it would ignite the atmosphere. They did some more calculations and concluded that it is "likely" that it will not ignite the atmosphere. I wonder what confidence interval they used. For the sake of humanity they pushed on, and they were right: we are still here. They would've succeeded prodigiously if the atmosphere did ignite, IMO.

I was trying to find a link to that story, but ran into this instead. You're welcome.

--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
I thought that was a little odd (3.00 / 2) (#65)
by squigly on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 06:55:17 PM EST

Since betting on the destruction of humanity is pointless unless you can collect. Apparently, most bookmakers will give you whatever odd you want on the end of the world.  

Then I read the rest of the article.  I figured that this probably wasn't meant to be taken seriously.  

[ Parent ]

Hearsay (3.00 / 2) (#90)
by chanomie on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 05:11:26 PM EST

In a college math lecture, I heard a guest speaker who stated that he was one of the mathematicians who did the calculations on the chance of igniting the atmosphere from the first bomb tests.  He commented that at the time, he was unaware what the calculations were for because the military did not want the mathematicians fudging their answers based on fears or political beliefs.

He also said that at the time of the speech (1998)  the actual result that was calculated was still classified, but they obviously determined it was very unlikely.

Of course, how unlikely does it have to be before the US military decides to risk destroying all life on the planet?

[ Parent ]

Oppenhiemer paid out . . . (none / 0) (#116)
by dmiracle on Sat Feb 12, 2005 at 01:02:20 PM EST

Source: In the Shadow of the Bomb: Oppenheimer, Bethe and the Moral Responsibility of the Scientist by S.S. Schweber Princeton

[ Parent ]
A Clarification. (2.75 / 4) (#19)
by For Whom The Bells Troll on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 09:42:03 PM EST

And this is also your chance to hobnob with Shiva, Zeus, Ukko and Shaitan.
Shiva is a God, but Shaitan is pure evil. It's like saying, "This is your chance to hobnob with Jesus and the Devil", for instance.

---
The Big F Word.
Shiva is god of destruction <n/t> (none / 0) (#113)
by univgeek on Wed Jan 19, 2005 at 11:08:28 AM EST


Arguing with an Electrical Engineer is liking wrestling with a pig in mud, after a while you realise the pig is enjoying it!
[ Parent ]
-1 (1.80 / 5) (#21)
by mikepence on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 10:06:30 PM EST

"Ideological leftist tree-huggers who like inhabited wastelands more than national security" like me tend to think that perhaps the hubris of a generation should not destroy what thousands of generations before us has preserved.

Oh man you fail it so hard (2.62 / 8) (#23)
by Dr Gonzo on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 10:48:26 PM EST

No wonder you retreated to your own little criticism-free corner of the Internet.

"I felt the warmth spread across my lap as her bladder let loose." - MichaelCrawford
[ Parent ]

oh man you gotta be kidding me (1.50 / 6) (#25)
by Your Moms Cock on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 11:00:25 PM EST




--
Mountain Dew cans. Cat hair. Comic book posters. Living with the folks. Are these our future leaders, our intellectual supermen?

[ Parent ]
The URL in your sig (none / 0) (#102)
by flaw on Wed Jan 12, 2005 at 06:39:44 AM EST

needs fixing.

P.S. kitten sucks

--
ピニス, ピニス, everyone loves ピニス!
[ Parent ]

Damn, that was funnier than anyhing I wrote /nt (1.50 / 2) (#52)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 11:01:51 AM EST


--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
Look, it's very simple. (3.00 / 4) (#22)
by jd on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 10:23:44 PM EST

The world's oceans are 2/3rds hydrogen, and cover 2/3rds of the planet. All you need to do is build a large enough power station, electrolyze the water into it's components, and then detonate a standard fission nuke to start the fusion reaction.

So long as you're fast enough (ie: before the hydrogen escapes), you'll produce the best explosion this side of the Crab Nebula.

no (3.00 / 2) (#31)
by Polverone on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 12:20:59 AM EST

You can't build a thermonuclear weapon with ordinary light hydrogen and a fission trigger. You at least need deuterium.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
Deuterium and Tritium (2.00 / 2) (#66)
by jd on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 07:44:55 PM EST

You are absolutely correct. (I'm impressed - there aren't many on K5 who I'd consider being able to spot that.)

However, all natural hydrogen occurs in all three forms. The ratio between hydrogen and deuterium is something ike 6300:1. I can't find the occurance of natural tritium, only that it is exceptionally rare.

Technically, what would be required would be to "sort" the hydrogen, so that you had sufficient deuterium in one place to have a sustainable reaction. You'd probably want to compress ALL the hydrogen, too, so that you'd build up a chain reaction.

For those wondering how serious I am on all of this, think about this for a moment. There is a known, but unmeasured, risk of the Earth being hit by a comet. A comet is mostly water ice. Instead of firing nukes at it (which are unlikely to do any good at all), it may be possible to turn the comet into a fusion-based drive. Much less stress on the comet, much more power being output, and frankly I don't trust anyone who does have nukes to aim right.

Besides, it would give Arthur C. Clarke another claim to having invented something. The idea gets a long discussion in the book version of 2010.

[ Parent ]

building the Doomsday Machine (none / 0) (#76)
by Polverone on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 11:10:47 PM EST

The world's first thermonuclear test, Ivy Mike, increased the density of the deuterium by storing it as cryogenic liquid. The device itself was heavily instrumented and would have been non-deliverable in any case, given that it had a small building's worth of support equipment to keep the deuterium liquified. Most of the yield came from the natural uranium tamper around the deuterium undergoing fission from fast D-D fusion neutrons. I believe that deuterium was the only fusion fuel present, though.

So for building the Doomsday Device you have a couple of options: first is to build several Ivy Mike equivalents and (optionally) replace part of the uranium tampers with cobalt for even deadlier fallout, then synchronize their firing so they don't tear each other apart before achieving full yield. The second option is to use a multi-stage Teller-Ulam device with a gigantic cryogenic fusion device as the first fusion stage. Then all you have to do is connect it to an unstoppable defense computer and march into Utopia.

Dr. Strangelove: Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world, EH?

Ambassador de Sadesky: It was to be announced at the Party Congress on Monday. As you know, the Premier loves surprises.

I don't think you can do comet deflection with a fusion-based drive yet. You'd have to achieve better than break-even from controlled fusion first.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Less-than-controlled fusion is just fine, thanks. (none / 0) (#81)
by i on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 07:54:10 AM EST

Project Prometheus, or something.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
re: Deuterium and Tritium (none / 0) (#97)
by interstel on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 06:27:18 PM EST

>unmeasured, risk of the Earth being hit by a comet. A comet is mostly water ice. Instead of >firing nukes at it (which are unlikely to do any good at all), it may be possible to turn the comet into a fusion-based drive. Much

<sigh>

I can't stand how many people have bought into the BS that has been distributed via the Science Channels one sided exposition of using nuclear weapons versus comets.

I will handily agree that a standard detonation or a several standard detonations will at most partial volatize or break up a comet (depending on its size and the size of the weapons used).

But having been a US Navy nuclear weapons technician for several years and having several science degrees too it has been patently obvious there is an alternative that I have never seen presented on any of those "catastrophe" style shows.

The only sure method of destruction/volatization of a comet up to around 5 miles in diameter is a geodesic detonation pattern based on precision timed detonation. Basically placed a grid of at 10 weapons in a grid point sphere around the object close to the surface. Thus each weapon will only be doing part of the job and overpressure into the core regions will also assist. This mitigates the loss of effective yield due to vacuum conditions. It also means you can use off the weapons since no weapon need be greater than 25 megatons.

Oh and using off the shelf NIRVA Nuclear Enginer technology you could simply use the water/ice mass as reaction drive material. You dont need to actually use it as fuel. NIRVA technology research was completed successfully back around 1972 when they successfully ran a fully fueled test run for equivalent of a round trip to Mars and back on the test stand. The engine technology was subsequently dropped for stupid political reasons.


Interstel

[ Parent ]
We want a really big bomb right? (none / 0) (#117)
by StormsFury on Fri Mar 04, 2005 at 01:21:07 AM EST

Doesnt Jupiter have the proper hydrogen levels? why not just drop a nuke in there and watch the fireworks?

[ Parent ]
Ok, I need to change my underwear now /nt (none / 1) (#51)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 11:00:28 AM EST


--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
You are totally full of the shit of bulls (none / 1) (#86)
by Theoretical User on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 02:35:28 PM EST

The ocean is not 2/3 hydrogen. Water atoms are just over 1/8 hydrogen.

___
Your Wife Gives Bad Head. -- CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Oh, jesus! (3.00 / 2) (#87)
by Theoretical User on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 02:38:16 PM EST

s/atoms/molecules

Or, I meant the original meaning of the word "atom", which is "the smallest unit", ala, the smallest unit of water. Yeah, that's what I meant. Yup. My science mojo is still intact. Fuck you for thinking otherwise.

___
Your Wife Gives Bad Head. -- CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

God DAMNIT!!! (1.50 / 2) (#88)
by Theoretical User on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 02:41:03 PM EST

FUCKING AUTOFORMAT!!!

s/s\/atoms\/molecules/s\/atoms\/molecules\//

Preview.... AND POST!

___
Your Wife Gives Bad Head. -- CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

More problems (2.70 / 10) (#32)
by Polverone on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 12:41:09 AM EST

PS2s, toasters, and almost any home computers will not have enough RAM to run a modern simulation of coupled radiation hydrodynamics. If you make individual machines mere nodes in an MPP system, communications overhead will dwarf whatever benefits you gain from distribution.

The biggest, baddest, doomsdayest bombs were designed in the 1950s before computers could contribute that much. It's easier to make gigantic weapons than efficient ones. So really we should forget running nuke@home and get to work writing bots that will email US senators, demanding large, atmospheric nuclear tests on the 4th of July, the New Year, and the Chinese New Year.

The most advanced nuclear weapons currently in service were designed in the 1970s. A typical school computer lab today has more computational power than the entire US nuclear weapons establishment did when the most recent generation of weapons was designed. Whatever obstacles there are to developing nuclear weapons today, "computational intractability" is not high on the list.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.

you forgot (none / 1) (#70)
by b1t r0t on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 09:55:25 PM EST

So really we should forget running nuke@home and get to work writing bots that will email US senators, demanding large, atmospheric nuclear tests on the 4th of July, the New Year, and the Chinese New Year.

You forgot that the Brits get Guy Fawkes Day for atmospheric nuke testing too.

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]

you also forgot (none / 0) (#84)
by BottleRocket on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:45:03 AM EST

LINKS AND SOURCES

$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
$B R Σ III$

[ Parent ]

Los Alamos Primer (none / 0) (#99)
by hughk on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 12:17:01 PM EST

is a good start for the original single stage fission job. Getting hold of the physics for multistage weapons is a bit more complicated (the engineering is reasonably well known).

[ Parent ]
Why bother? (2.66 / 3) (#38)
by kitten on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 03:02:32 AM EST

Yeah, I realize it's a joke, but still -- why bother? Just cram more fissionable/fusable material in there and away we go. I don't know what the average yield is these days, but we're talking multi-megatons, in some cases multi-tens of megatons. At that level of destruction, who cares if you can squeeze another little bit out of it? The city's gonna be gone either way -- easier and cheaper to build bigger bombs than more efficient ones.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
single men with cats. (1.60 / 10) (#43)
by Dr Gonzo on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 10:13:53 AM EST


"I felt the warmth spread across my lap as her bladder let loose." - MichaelCrawford
[ Parent ]

BTW (1.66 / 9) (#44)
by Dr Gonzo on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 10:16:13 AM EST

I had no idea that nuclear physicists like yourself who are intimately familiar with the production process for nuclear weapons only managed to get Bs in remedial college algebra.

What tripped you up? Linear functions too hard? Did polynomials just stupify you?

"I felt the warmth spread across my lap as her bladder let loose." - MichaelCrawford
[ Parent ]

The Russian 100MT Bomb (none / 1) (#59)
by Peahippo on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 02:20:10 PM EST

Remember that? They actually lit off an atmospheric test form of one of those, achieving over 50MT. But they dropped the project. Why? Because even a 50MT bomb serves no war purpose. A 1MT bomb does ample damage to a city. It's better militarily to have a lot of small-to-medium nukes, than to have a smaller number of large-to-huge ones. Remember, your delivery assets will have a failure rate, from malfunctions and from being shot down.


[ Parent ]
Wrong about yields (none / 1) (#64)
by Polverone on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 06:44:20 PM EST

The multi-megaton monsters were designed long ago. I believe that the highest-yield US weapons still capable of operation have a yield of less than 5 megatons. It's more efficient to have five 150 kiloton warheads on a missile, and destroy five targets, than it is to have one megaton warhead on a missile and obliterate one target. These compact modern warheads are of course much more powerful than the bombs dropped on Japan; they're just much less powerful than some of the weapons the US tested and stockpiled 4-5 decades ago.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
Re: funny (none / 0) (#103)
by recharged95 on Wed Jan 12, 2005 at 04:36:17 PM EST

"easier and cheaper to build bigger bombs than more efficient ones."

E = mc^2 is as efficient as we're going to get. (Yeah, then there's that heat transfer problem though)

Instead of build a great grid to build better bombs, a program like this should show/simulate how much destruction will occur if the computer experiment is turned into reality--hence, accomplishing the goal of Oppenheimer. It will likely freak out a lot of folks.

And you don't need a "nuke" to reach god status--h*ll, look at our 3 branches of gov't nowadays.... Well they just only talk the talk thankfully ;)

[ Parent ]

Eh, the nuke isn't that impressive (2.71 / 7) (#41)
by Kasreyn on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 09:38:16 AM EST

I mean, it's a very effective weapon, but the Great Khan also had enough power to call himself a god, if you're simply using the scale of "how many people I can order to have killed": the Mongols put more than a million people to the sword in each of several Chinese cities they sacked. In one city, the survivors hid in piles of corpses, so in the next one, the Mongol commander ordered his troops to decapitate all the bodies, just to be sure.

It always amuses me that people think mass destruction never existed until gas chambers and bombs were invented. :P

#2 made me laugh, though. So did "thousands of miles away from white people". :P


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
I'm a big fan of Ghenghis Khan, as well (2.40 / 5) (#50)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 10:58:31 AM EST

There are stories of his exploits and how they raped all the women making them pregnant with their seed and how they were ankle-deep in the men's blood, revelling in those orgies for days on end. Also, the Aztecs have really put themselves in my book of respect with their gods-pacifying efforts which involved sacrificing thousands (!) of men and women in rituals which would last for days.

Those were the days.

--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
But that was personal (2.75 / 12) (#58)
by rusty on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 02:09:51 PM EST

I mean, when you were Ghenghis Khan ordering millions put to the sword, you knew that every one of them would receive the personal attention of an individual craftsman in your army. Today's mass destruction is all "push this button and vaporize the city" -- there's no care, no personality left to it.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Kids these days (3.00 / 5) (#74)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 10:57:18 PM EST

Back in the old days, one had to study for many years to become a skilled swordsman.

And I understand that the investment required to purchase a good suit of armor in the Middle Ages was equivalent to purchasing a home these days.

But today? "I want Death, and I want it Now."


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

He was powerful enough to be honest (2.60 / 5) (#60)
by cronian on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 02:48:31 PM EST

"The Greatest Happiness is to scatter your enemy and drive him before you. To see his cities reduced to ashes. To see those who love him shrouded and in tears. And to gather to your bosom his wives and daughters." ~ Genghis Khan (1162-1227)
http://www.zaadz.com/quotes/authors/genghis_khan/

"As Americans, we want peace -- we work and sacrifice for peace."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2309049.stm

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
You forgot the important one: (2.25 / 4) (#68)
by Dr Gonzo on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 08:02:20 PM EST

Conan, what is best in life?

To crush your enemies, see them driven before you and to hear the lamentations of the women!

"I felt the warmth spread across my lap as her bladder let loose." - MichaelCrawford
[ Parent ]

Sig quote is better (3.00 / 3) (#100)
by Sgt York on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 01:52:44 PM EST

n/t

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Uh... (none / 0) (#85)
by darklordseth on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 01:16:33 PM EST

I mean, it's a very effective weapon

Not really. Nukes can't be properly used for tactical deployment ( Though nuke-cannons do exist ) and strategically they serve no real role either. Nukes are more political then military tools. Weapons are used to eliminate threats, nukes ae used to intimidate people into submission.

[ Parent ]

Jesus H. Christ (none / 1) (#101)
by Empedocles on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 04:16:54 PM EST

Go back to Slashdot where you can spout moronic gems like this one:

Nukes can't be properly used for tactical deployment

And the last nuclear artillery shell was destroyed in 1993.

---
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

[ Parent ]

Nuclear Artillery (none / 0) (#111)
by Hillgiant on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 01:00:14 PM EST

Oh yeah, I remember those nuclear artillery shells. Kinda tricky having a weapon who's maximum range was barely beyond the minimum safe distance of the warhead.

The point is moot anyway. Tactical vs. strategic is not a matter of deilvery. It is more a matter of scale and intent. It is unlikely that there will ever be a large enough mass of troops to justify the tactical use of nuclear weapons. The scale of a nuclear detonation limits it to attacks on infrastructure (cities).

-----
"It is impossible to say what I mean." -johnny
[ Parent ]

Paging Michael Crawford.... (none / 1) (#67)
by strlen on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 07:57:50 PM EST

Paging Michael Crawford, to explain how you could probably design a nuke given a Ph.D in Physics (or a related discipline) and a modern Linux box running Matlab (and how, I believe, this was a hobby for Caltech students).

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
Tomorrow... I promise. I don't have time tonight. (2.50 / 2) (#69)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 09:52:52 PM EST

But I'll leave you with this thought: the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki were designed and built with the technology of the 1940's, and without the aid of programmable computers, or even computers of any sort: a computer at Los Alamos was a smart young math whiz at a desk with a table of logarithms and an adding machine. They'd use teams of these guys to calculate numerical solutions to differential equations.

I don't know how to design a nuke, but I know enough physics to know I could if I really set my mind to it. I wouldn't need a supercomputer to do it either - that's just for the fancy hydrogen bombs, or understanding how their yield degrades with age, without having to actually test them.

All I'd need is the 667 Mhz Pentium III box I'm typing this comment on. That's far more computing power than was available to the Manhattan project.

No, what keeps nukes out of the hands of terrorists and third-world dictators is the difficulty of obtaining either plutonium or bomb-grade uranium. But both are possible - given the technology of the 1940's.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

did you pat yourself on the back, fag? (1.25 / 8) (#72)
by Lady Writer On The TV on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 10:48:35 PM EST

anyone with google access, a 667 MHz computer, sufficient intelligence (that is, an IQ of 95), and the necessarily supply (namely weapons-grade uranium -- just about everything else can be bought at radio shack) can build a nuclear bomb.

what you can do if "you really wanted to" isn't impressive by any means, you sack of shit. Hell, I could build a nuclear bomb fairly trivially and I don't even have my degree in physics yet.

[ Parent ]

Well, it's a little harder than that, actually (none / 0) (#73)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 10:51:09 PM EST

Here's an exercise for you: derive the emission spectrum of hydrogen.

When you can come back to me with the solution worked out, then we can talk.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

your kidding, right? (3.00 / 2) (#78)
by Lady Writer On The TV on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 01:59:24 AM EST

REF: any undergraduate quantum textbook.

I've been there. I can cite (and understand the derivation thereof) the sources.

Next?

[ Parent ]

Um (none / 0) (#82)
by puppet10 on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:07:06 AM EST

It actually would depend on how accurate of an answer you need. For example the Lamb Shift is a bit beyond the typical undergrad quantum text.

[ Parent ]
OK, do it closed-book (none / 0) (#93)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 11:53:58 AM EST

Use symbols for all the physical quantities (mass, charge, plank's constant and so on).

When you're done you can look up the physical quantities and plug them in to see if you got the answer right.

Of course, designing a nuke would be an open-book test, but I don't think it's as trivial as you would make it out to be.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Being an English teacher, not a physicist (3.00 / 3) (#96)
by werner on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 03:35:49 PM EST

I don't understand what you're talking about in the least. But I do know that it's spelt "Planck" ;-)

[ Parent ]
It's been years (none / 0) (#98)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 10:55:20 AM EST

I left grad school in 1994. I have forgotten so much! The only occasion I have ever had to use my University study in my programming work was when I derived the least-squares fit of a set of 3-D points to a plane, to use in calibrating images at an aerial surveying company.

That was back in 1988 or so, but I remember it so clearly because it was such a delight to do calculus on the job.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

dispelling illusions (none / 0) (#115)
by dmiracle on Sat Feb 12, 2005 at 12:49:14 PM EST

I think it should be noted that the first nuke makers didn't have computers but they did have mounds of funding. People love to say that they could build a nuke if the had some U235. That is not trivial. The US spent gobs of money to refine it, and currently spends billions a year to contain the mess they made (Hanford). Also what the hell is a million semesters of quntum mechanics going to give you for calculating critical mass? I'll tell you what, a wrong answer. So unless you have security clearance or are pretty friendly with some pakastani physicists you will have no idea how much U235 to put in your bomb. On another note, I'm sorry to tell you that the greatest calculations in the world won't give you the perfect design: you need the experimental data for that. Yeah for the experimentalists! Woot woot <doing little dance>

[ Parent ]
Building that (none / 0) (#77)
by strlen on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 12:25:57 AM EST

Well, enriching uranium on the other hand requires far more than that. I believe, the Manhattan project at one point was using 46% of electricity being generated in the United States total (though I may be either totally of base, and keep in mind this was 1940's and during war black outs). Of course, modern techniques have probably been improved.


--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Nice display, dipshit (none / 0) (#112)
by awgsilyari on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 04:57:02 PM EST

The fact that you assumed he was trying to "impress" somebody, when he clearly implied nothing of the sort (in fact, he was solicited to post about the topic by somebody else), is a dead giveaway that you have no confidence in your own physics abilities and thus feel the need to lash out at other people who clearly know more than you do.

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]
My little joke: What was the code name of... (none / 0) (#75)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Jan 08, 2005 at 11:03:20 PM EST

... the first successful hydrogen bomb test?


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

no country.. (none / 1) (#92)
by Norkakn on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 11:22:41 AM EST

No country that has seriously attempted to build a nuclear bomb has failed. The math can be done by a decent physics grad student and then the uranium is just an industrial matter. And the scale of industry needed to enrich uranium is well with in the reach of most countries, even a lot of the small shitty ones with names we can't pronounce.

[ Parent ]
Mike's Paranoia (3.00 / 2) (#94)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 12:10:30 PM EST

The profound realization that what you say is true was one of the more significant factors that lead to my psychiatric hospitalization back in 1994, for paranoia and mania.

This was just at the start of the third quarter of physics grad school. I had to drop out. Although the medicine they gave me started to help right away, it took several years to fully recover.

The North Koreans were rattling their nuclear sabers back then too, and I knew very well just how serious a threat they were, and not just them, but any tin-pot dictatorship that wanted to raise a lot of Hell.

All it takes is a large industrial plant with the technology of the 1940's, a lot of magnet wire, and a lot of electricity, and yes, a grad student with a PC and a copy of Matlab.

What led to my hospitalization was that I became convinced it was my personal responsibility to warn everyone. Also significant was the urgency with which I felt I should warn everyone RIGHT NOW.

I was posting a lot of stuff to Usenet and to mailing lists back then, stuff that probably didn't make a whole lot of sense. You can probably find it all in groups.google.com. Look for my old emails, crawford@scruznet.com, crawford@scipp.ucsc.edu and crawford@na47sun05.cern.ch.

Risperdal helped. It's "the most frequently prescribed antipsychotic medication in the U.S."

However, despite the fact that I am, I hope at least, sane these days, I still sense the danger, and still feel it is my responsibility to warn anyone who will listen.

I just try to be more lucid about it. I have discovered that writing or speaking lucidly does a better job of convincing people, than does flailing about raging about the nuclear conspiracy. It's not at all that I was mistaken in my beliefs, just my methods.

"North Koreans" has become a helpful codeword that Bonita uses to warn me I'm obsessing on one of my paranoia triggers. If I'm going on about how, say, George Bush stole the election in 2000, Bonita just has to say "Mike! North Koreans!" and I realize I need to stop.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

It's Not The Designing, It's The Testing... (none / 0) (#105)
by cmholm3 on Thu Jan 13, 2005 at 08:56:08 PM EST

A few CalTech grads may well pull together a nice sim for a bomb with some .m code, but they ain't gonna complete a high fidelity test on the handful of boxen in their lab in this lifetime. Unless they can hotswap multi-core CPUs into the mix as they depreciate to garage sale prices.

To create the raw data for those Los Alamos mpeg movies they play for the Senate Armed Services Committee showing every last tap and die job in the case going cablooie when the primary and secondary light up takes the kind of CPU hours nuke@home is... ah... would be all about.

[ Parent ]

Ah, sticks and stones... (none / 0) (#89)
by divinus on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 04:06:06 PM EST

tsia

will break my bones, but nukes will never hurt me (3.00 / 4) (#91)
by nxor on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 02:04:03 AM EST



[ Parent ]
actually... (none / 0) (#118)
by divinus on Mon Mar 14, 2005 at 07:11:41 AM EST

i was referencing the Einstein quote, "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

[ Parent ]
Your First Problem... (none / 0) (#95)
by Inhibit on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 02:50:06 PM EST

My computer is on 24/7 fighting off trojans, viruses and worms and downloading big-tit porn.

<tongue firmly in cheek>
Maybe if you *bought* your big-tit porn in the government recommended DVD format you wouldn't *get* the trojans, viruses, and worms, you dirty hippie! :P <ducks>
-- Inhibit, PCBurn Linux hardware/software reviewer
This story (Castle Bravo) gives me the willies... (none / 1) (#104)
by claes on Thu Jan 13, 2005 at 06:36:25 PM EST

From http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Castle.html

The Shrimp device tested in Bravo was a 15 Mt two stage thermonuclear surface burst. This was the first "dry" or solid fuel (lithium deuteride fueled) H-Bomb tested by the U.S., and the first solid fuel Teller-Ulam device ever tested. It was the largest bomb ever tested by the U.S. although this was by accident. The yield of Bravo dramatically exceeded predictions, being about 2.5 times higher than the best guess and almost double the estimated maximum possible yield (6 Mt predicted, estimated yield range 4-8 Mt).

This thing was around 10 MT bigger than they expected. It was an "accident". They had NO FUCKING IDEA what they were lighting off.

-- claes

OK, It Was A Minor Oversight (none / 1) (#106)
by cmholm3 on Thu Jan 13, 2005 at 09:08:45 PM EST

This thing was around 10 MT bigger than they expected. It was an "accident". They had NO FUCKING IDEA what they were lighting off.

Well, that may be going a bit overboard. What the designers didn't anticipate was that the radiation from the primary was going to liberate so much deuterium and (especially) tritium from the cheap-ass, high school chem lab-grade lithium they were using. Once they realized that, they ditched the test that would have used the isotope-rich lithium it was costing a mint to scrape together.

Gotta realize, while the DoD wanted the project to result in something they could drop from a B-36, everyone involved knew that most of these tests were physics experiments. Even for a Fermi or Oppenheimer, until you run the experiment the first time and analyze the resulting data, you don't really know shit.

[ Parent ]

Lithium-7 (none / 0) (#119)
by Mad Arab on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 12:57:21 AM EST

What they didn't realize was that lithium-7 releases secondary neutrons under neutron bombardment, giving the bomb that much more of a bang when they ran into the plutonium sparkplug or the U-238 covering that provided much of that weapon's explosive yield.

[ Parent ]
how did this troll get posted (none / 0) (#107)
by klem on Thu Jan 13, 2005 at 11:10:45 PM EST



YFI. Read editorial comments /nt (none / 0) (#108)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 06:54:54 AM EST


--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
Humor section (none / 0) (#109)
by exa on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 05:13:34 AM EST

I think this was supposed to be funny.

It is not funny to say that a-bomb explosions look beautiful, or any of the other great ideas
__
exa a.k.a Eray Ozkural
There is no perfect circle.

Of course it's not (none / 1) (#110)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 06:33:33 AM EST

Atom bomb explosions do look beautiful. That part was not supposed to be funny. Sorry for any confusion.

--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
Supercomputers (none / 0) (#114)
by BobTheMighty on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 06:53:31 PM EST

> According to the SETI@Home FAQ its distributed
> computer puts out 15 teraflops. This computing
> power is more than any known supercomputer.

IBM, SGI, NEC, and CDC all have supercomputers faster than this. The computers at Virginia Tech, Los Alamos, Rochester, NAVOCEANO, NCSA, and ECMWF also all have theoretical peak outputs above 15 Tflops. Just, you know, FYI
-
I'll try not to confuse you more than absolutely necessary

Natural-Born Tritium (none / 0) (#120)
by Mad Arab on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 02:31:33 AM EST

Tritium has such a short half-life that you are unlikely to find any measurable quantities of it in a natural state.

Nuke@Home | 120 comments (78 topical, 42 editorial, 0 hidden)
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