[Beowulf] Re: "hobbyists"

Perry E. Metzger perry at piermont.com
Thu Jun 19 12:53:37 PDT 2008

Jim Lux <James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov> writes:
>>Thermonuclear fusion and the 100+ KT to MT range are similarly
>>straightforward.  From what I recall, one can just monkey around with
>>building bigger bombs surrounded by more fissile material and get close
>>to the latter, adding fusile material such as tritium (expensive and
>>dangerous) or deuterium (plentiful and harmless) and lithium into spaces
>>between trigger and a U-238 casing.
> Uh.. probably not.. That's the "alarm clock" or "layer cake" design
> and has some issues.  I refer interested readers to Morland's 1977
> article in "The Progressive" for more information.

"Dark Sun" by Richard Rhodes is probably better (and more
entertaining). It describes the Teller-Ulam mechanism in some
detail. I will point out that, if the description of the initial Ivy
Mike test is to be taken as an indication, it actually requires quite
a bit of effort to put together such a thing -- one need worry about
amateurs building fission devices, but probably no fusion...

Perry E. Metzger		perry at piermont.com

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