Re: H bombs

Randall R Randall (
Sun, 1 Mar 1998 09:57:42 -0500

On Sun, 1 Mar 1998 17:14:37 +0300 (MSK) Eugene Leitl
<> writes:
>On Sat, 28 Feb 1998, John K Clark wrote:

>> Incidentally, without radiation pressure an H bomb wouldn't work,
>>the radiation from the fission trigger is the only way to compress
>>deuterium enough to achieve fusion. You might think that photons
>>of light couldn't evenly compress matter because of Rayleigh -
>>Taylor instability, that's what would happen if you tried to support
>>heavy mercury with a column of water, tiny tongs of mercury would
>>force their way a small way into the water and then grow exponentially

>>until the mercury had entirely fallen through the water. It's not at
>>obvious that the same thing wouldn't happen with light
>> and matter, however detailed calculations by the military on the
>>largest super computers of their day showed that this instability does
>>not happen, photons really can compress matter evenly. This fact w
>>as kept top secret for many years, and when it was finally revealed,
after >>painstakingly piecing it together in the early 1980's from
>>of unclassified documents and after several people nearly went to
>>jail, astronomers found it very interesting.
>All very true, but really not applicable to my scenario described

Not true. :) Radiation pressure is not a significant compressant
of the fusion fuel, though this was an interesting false lead for
the journalist who almost went to jail (and whose name I cannot
remember). A dense plastic foam (sorta like styrofoam) is
packed around the fusion fuel, and vaporized in a very short time
by the x-ray pulse from the fission device. It is the exploding
foam that compresses the fusion fuel. There is a thick cap of
U-238 between the fission device and the fusion fuel, precisely
to *prevent* the radiation from hitting the fusion fuel directly
before compression can occur.

Wolfkin. | ICQ: 3043097
On a visible but distant shore a new image of man,
The shape of his own future, now in his own hands.
| Johnny Clegg

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