Re: Nuke weapon/reactor/waste horror story links?

Date: Wed Jan 10 2001 - 01:52:03 MST

John Marlow wrote:

> @Could be; as I said, it's a guess--but I suspect
> neither of knows the true capabilities of current
> detection gear.

No. Nor do we have to, since elementary physics
suffices. The only thing which distinguishes a nuke
from anything else is radiation, a passive property.
Which is being emitted from behind a shield on a
noisy background, and has a distance of some 100 km
filled with atmosphere between source and detector.
Plus, you have a lot of terrain to cover, so you can't
look for very long.

On such a distance you have a much better chance
seeing the infrared emission from the nuke surface,
which is (at best) few degrees K above background.
Which is just as silly.

> @It wouldn't really have to, would it? There are other
> clues, such as disturbance of air molecules by passing
> gamma particles--which of course, absent a detonation,

Um, gamma quanta are not special. There are a lot of hot
nuclei around here, and see the cosmic ray background.
You would should be able to detect a nuke with it's nitrogen-rich
high explosive shell around it from a few m distance, but
that's about it.

> are feeble. Can such things be detected from a great
> distance? I don't know. Can Hubble be turned around to
> look down here? Good chance.

If you insist in making a fool out of yourself in a public
place, be my guest.

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