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Building Nuclear Bombs for Dummies Siu Ping Chin Feman, Stuart Tomko.

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1 Building Nuclear Bombs for Dummies Siu Ping Chin Feman, Stuart Tomko

2 Terms Fission - The splitting of an atom into two particles of smaller total mass Fission - The splitting of an atom into two particles of smaller total mass ar-bomb3.htmhttp://people.howstuffworks.com/nucle ar-bomb3.htmhttp://people.howstuffworks.com/nucle ar-bomb3.htmhttp://people.howstuffworks.com/nucle ar-bomb3.htm Fusion – The brining together of two smaller particles to form a larger one Fusion – The brining together of two smaller particles to form a larger one Ask the swimmersAsk the swimmers Einstein’s famous formula: E=mc 2 Einstein’s famous formula: E=mc 2

3 Terms k factor – the average number of neutrons from each fission that goes on to start another fission k factor – the average number of neutrons from each fission that goes on to start another fission Critical mass – the minimum mass of fissionable material required to sustain a nuclear fission reaction (k > 1) Critical mass – the minimum mass of fissionable material required to sustain a nuclear fission reaction (k > 1) supercrititcal and subcriticalsupercrititcal and subcritical

4 Types of Nuclear Bombs Fission Bombs Fission Bombs Based on nuclear fissionBased on nuclear fission Fusion Bombs Fusion Bombs Based on nuclear fusionBased on nuclear fusion “at the heart of every good fusion bomb is a good fission bomb”“at the heart of every good fusion bomb is a good fission bomb” We’re going to build a fission bomb We’re going to build a fission bomb EasierEasier necessary for a fusion bombnecessary for a fusion bomb

5 Detonating devices Gun-triggered Gun-triggered Fires one subcritical mass of nuclear material at another, forming a critical massFires one subcritical mass of nuclear material at another, forming a critical mass Implosion-triggered Implosion-triggered Fires an even blast behind two subcritical masses bringing them together with extreme pressureFires an even blast behind two subcritical masses bringing them together with extreme pressure The explosion must be completely evenThe explosion must be completely even Explosive lens Explosive lens Explosive lenses are very complicated so we’re building a gun-triggered bomb Explosive lenses are very complicated so we’re building a gun-triggered bomb

6 Neutron source The Initiator The Initiator Need a source of neutrons to start the fissionNeed a source of neutrons to start the fission Most common is a polonium- 210/beryllium initiatorMost common is a polonium- 210/beryllium initiator Polonium-210 is radioactive and emits alpha particles Polonium-210 is radioactive and emits alpha particles Alpha particles cause beryllium to emit neutrons Alpha particles cause beryllium to emit neutrons

7 Containment device Tamper/Reflector Tamper/Reflector A thick shell of neutron reflecting material to contain the explosion and make sure the bomb doesn’t fizzle outA thick shell of neutron reflecting material to contain the explosion and make sure the bomb doesn’t fizzle out We’re using uranium-238, which is decent and readily availableWe’re using uranium-238, which is decent and readily available

8 The Nuclear material Must use a material that can be supercritical and that can undergo induced fusion Must use a material that can be supercritical and that can undergo induced fusion Plutonium-239 Plutonium-239 The more powerful, but harder to obtain and cannot be detonated with a gun-triggered deviceThe more powerful, but harder to obtain and cannot be detonated with a gun-triggered device Uranium-235 Uranium-235 Not as powerful,Not as powerful, easier to get and detonateeasier to get and detonate We’re using U-235 We’re using U-235

9 Were to get everything Gun-triggering device Gun-triggering device you can buy C-4 on the black market for relatively cheap.you can buy C-4 on the black market for relatively cheap. Other explosive can easily be made (talk to me after class).Other explosive can easily be made (talk to me after class). Neutron source Neutron source You can buy beryllium or steal it from the chem department here.You can buy beryllium or steal it from the chem department here. Buy Po-210 at Po-210 at Containment device/Tamper Containment device/Tamper You can buy U-238 from CanadiansYou can buy U-238 from Canadians

10 Where to get the rest The nuclear material The nuclear material Can be stolen from a conversion facilities in Erwin, TN and Lynchburg, VACan be stolen from a conversion facilities in Erwin, TN and Lynchburg, VA U-238 can also be enriched to U-235U-238 can also be enriched to U Pour a few gallons of HF over the uranium oxide you legally purchased 2. Bubble fluorine gas into the container 3. Transform gas into liquid (can be done with a simple bicycle pump) 4. Put the liquid in a bucket and swing in a circle to centrifuge (can also be done in a commercially available centrifuge) 5. DO NOT PUT ALL ENRICHED URANIUM TOGETHER OR YOU MAY EXPLODE 6. Put Ca tablets into each bucket (available at any CVS) 7. The Ca will separate the hexafluoride out of the uranium and you will be left with weapons grade U-238

11 Assembly First build initiator First build initiator Get a small amount of your Po-210 and wrap it in metal foil. Next wrap that in Be and then wrap the whole thing in another layer of foil.Get a small amount of your Po-210 and wrap it in metal foil. Next wrap that in Be and then wrap the whole thing in another layer of foil. Nuclear material Nuclear material Take just under 10 lbs of U-235 and wrap it around the initiator. This is what you are going to fire the rest of the U-235 into.Take just under 10 lbs of U-235 and wrap it around the initiator. This is what you are going to fire the rest of the U-235 into.

12 Assembly Build the gun-trigger Build the gun-trigger Take whatever explosive you settled on for the gun-trigger and place it at the back of a small mass of U-235. Rig up some detonating device to set off the explosive.Take whatever explosive you settled on for the gun-trigger and place it at the back of a small mass of U-235. Rig up some detonating device to set off the explosive. Putting it all together Putting it all together At one end of your tamper place the bulk of the uranium wrapped around the initiatorAt one end of your tamper place the bulk of the uranium wrapped around the initiator At the other end, place the gun triggerAt the other end, place the gun trigger Seal everything nice and tightSeal everything nice and tight Congratulations, you have a nuclear bomb Congratulations, you have a nuclear bomb

13 What it should look like clear-bomb5.htm clear-bomb5.htm clear-bomb5.htm clear-bomb5.htm

14 Why it matters Consequences of a nuclear explosion Consequences of a nuclear explosion A wave of intense heat and pressureA wave of intense heat and pressure RadiationRadiation Radioactive falloutRadioactive fallout Health Risks Health Risks Getting blown upGetting blown up Emotional distressEmotional distress CancerCancer InfertilityInfertility Birth defectsBirth defects

15 Sources people.howstuffworks.com/nuclear- bomb1.htm people.howstuffworks.com/nuclear- bomb1.htm people.howstuffworks.com/nuclear- bomb1.htm people.howstuffworks.com/nuclear- bomb1.htm Weapons of Tomorrow. Brian Beckett Weapons of Tomorrow. Brian Beckett Physics. 5 th ed. Giancoli Physics. 5 th ed. Giancoli


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