At 01:33 PM 6/8/99 +0100, Charlie Stross wrote:
>On Mon, Jun 07, 1999 at 05:58:13PM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
>> Thats what I thought, but I was thinking of the problems with
>> disposing of waste... Of course, the fact that the explosive effect
>> toxic effects would not hinder any protester from noting this fact and
>> it violates some law or human rights treaty or some such nonsense. You
>> confuse those folks with the facts.
>Ideology aside, have a cigar: the reason I suggested caesium was that
>it's dense, and would tend to explode (then presumably fragment, and keep
>on exploding) on contact with human bodies. Put it in a steel jacket or
>something similar to hold it together until it hits the target ...
Actually, a standard copper jacket will be adequate, and would probably be required when using a material as soft as cesium. High-velocity rifle bullets have copper jackets for the similar reasons i.e. to prevent the lead core from distintegrating under the stress of extremely high RPMs. (Bullet jackets are also used to control expansion and keep a barrel from "leading", but that isn't terribly important here.)
For pistol bullets, your best bet would be to have a total metal jacket made of copper, and a hollow-point with a thin, protective layer deposited over the cesium. A rifle bullet would probably be best built by using a "ballistic tip" design: a fully jacketed cesium core in a hollow-point configuration, with a polycarbonate spitzer tip. This would insure both a sealed core and dramatic fragmentation on impact. Cesium is not the kind of material you want to have exposed to air.
BTW, isn't cesium radioactive?