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Intangible Skeleton
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2010, 01:07:14 PM »

Quote
Bombs in da Sun!!!  In Superman IV:  The Quest for Peace, the s-man takes all the world's nuclear stockpile and where does he dispose of it?  In a black hole?  Nope.  Out in a far away galaxy beyond the reach of man?  You wish!  What does he do?  Throw them in the sun!  Bad idea.  I mean, sure the sun is 500 times bigger than the Earth.  Well we have enough nuclear missiles to destroy the world ten times over.  So imagine what they would do to the sun.  The Sun is a nuclear engine, yes a nuclear FUSION engine.  Nuclear missiles work by nuclear fission, quite the opposite.  So if you threw several hundred nuclear missiles into the sun, it would start a chain reaction which would ultimately destroy the sun, and Earth!

Sorry, but there's so much wrong with this I don't know where to begin...

Firstly: nuclear weapons can't literally destroy the world as in blow it to pieces. When this is said, it means that the after-effects of our entire nuclear arsenals being detonated would be enough to wipe out civilization or life ten times over, and even then this is only as estimate. The formula of gravitational binding energy gives a good estimate to the magnitude of energy required to actually blow the world to pieces (and so thoroughly the pieces are freed of their mutual gravity), and this comes to around 2.24E+32 joules, or around 53 Quadrillion Megatons, compare that to the size of the world nuclear arsenal (somewhere over 5000 Megatons) and you'll see how small an effect we'd have on the actual planet with our little firecrackers.

Secondly: Most modern nuclear warheads work via a small fission reaction to create fusion, not fission absolute. The sun is a giant ball of plasma, that is matter held together by gravity, and the fusion comes from the ultra-dense conditions at its core. As has already been pointed out, the weapons should be vaporized before they can detonate (this is a point where the film goes wrong), and even in the event of them detonating, there is a no known mechanism in physics for such a chain reaction to take place that could progress from small fission and fusion explosions to destabilizing an entire star.

Thirdly: The sun is massive. MASSIVE. The amount of energy released by the world's entire nuclear arsenal is absolutely and utterly insignificant compared to the sun. It wouldn't even belch as it ate that crap up.

I compare it to what you say here
Quote
Why?  Because trying to trigger earthquakes with a single ballistic missile is like knocking down the whole Empire State Building with a basketball.
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WWW
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2010, 02:10:20 PM »

...the sun is 500 times bigger than the Earth. 

I missed that little gem when I was skimming WW's post earlier.   BounceGiggle
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AndyC
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2010, 09:56:58 PM »

The scientific impossibilities are only noticeable if a movie tries to take its whole premise "seriously" like the ridiculous "Core" or " Armageddon" . Cartoons obviously don't. Superman and lots of others do. Actually Armageddon was fun despite being preposterous.

Word on the Core script is the main writer of it wrote is a secret satire on the modern disaster film.  Makes sense if you look at the science angle - virtually EVERY SCIENTIFIC SCENE IN THE FILM, as well as all the disaster scenes, is completely preposterous.

Absolutely. They knew it was impossible. I thought using the name "unobtainium" was kind of an obvious wink at the audience.

I'm not exactly sure what WW's deal is. I can't imagine him as some miserable nutcase who is incapable of enjoying fiction that isn't factual, or that he's dumb enough to put as many glaring scientific inaccuracies into a post by accident. He doesn't really engage in the discussion, just makes his proclamation and watches. It's not what I'd call participation, and it doesn't feel like trolling. Maybe he is just a nut.

Anyway, for the record, if I want to see something totally rooted in reality, I turn the TV off and enjoy reality. If I want to escape from reality for a while, I'll take fiction, and as long as it stays somewhat true to it's own internal reality, I can take it for what it is. To see only the faults, to me, is not a strength but a weakness. If WW is at all sincere, I pity him.
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Intangible Skeleton
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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2010, 05:40:42 AM »

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internal reality

Yep.

It's not rejection of real world physics that makes a movie go wrong, but rejection of the movie's own established physics. Internal consistency in all areas is key for a good piece of fiction. This is why most fantasy has its own rules that it sticks too. You can't really have a story without consistency, but you can make up any rules you like, as long as you stick to them.

People are keyed to this. We don't call Superman out for flying, since there is no contradiction inherent here, but we will call him out if he beats up a galactic threat one moment, but then gets beaten up by a merely human character the next. Unless, of course, there is a previously established reason for that happening, like an established weakness (Kryptonite).

Of course, as well as basic consistency, it extends to give us absurdity within absurdity. No one scoffs at Palpatine using the force in Star Wars, but we would do a double take if during the fight with Mace Windu in Episode III, Palpatine's arms snapped off, shot up his nostrils, his faced turned rainbow colors, and he rode to safety on a Harley-Davidson WL while the theme from Lost in Space played in the background. Mace Windu then does a double take and begins to play tic-tac-toe with a bush baby while wearing a rug and smoking a table leg.

Go on, think of an in-universe explanation for that.
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AndyC
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2010, 06:23:28 AM »

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internal reality
Of course, as well as basic consistency, it extends to give us absurdity within absurdity. No one scoffs at Palpatine using the force in Star Wars, but we would do a double take if during the fight with Mace Windu in Episode III, Palpatine's arms snapped off, shot up his nostrils, his faced turned rainbow colors, and he rode to safety on a Harley-Davidson WL while the theme from Lost in Space played in the background. Mace Windu then does a double take and begins to play tic-tac-toe with a bush baby while wearing a rug and smoking a table leg.

Go on, think of an in-universe explanation for that.

That depends. Was it the theme from Seasons 1 and 2 or the theme from Season 3? TeddyR
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2010, 11:24:22 AM »

I'd like to thank the original poster for providing so much to deconstruct. Cheers
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2010, 11:46:29 AM »

Sorry, didn't realize the original poster was really a troll or I wouldn't have encouraged him. Thought he was kidding. Maybe someone can put up a list of problem children for this site.
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2010, 12:00:18 PM »

Quote
Of course, as well as basic consistency, it extends to give us absurdity within absurdity. No one scoffs at Palpatine using the force in Star Wars, but we would do a double take if during the fight with Mace Windu in Episode III, Palpatine's arms snapped off, shot up his nostrils, his faced turned rainbow colors, and he rode to safety on a Harley-Davidson WL while the theme from Lost in Space played in the background. Mace Windu then does a double take and begins to play tic-tac-toe with a bush baby while wearing a rug and smoking a table leg.
And of course if that happened in Yellow Submarine while the Beatles were singing that all you need is love, nobody would bat an eye there.   Wink

Quote
I'm not exactly sure what WW's deal is. I can't imagine him as some miserable nutcase who is incapable of enjoying fiction that isn't factual, or that he's dumb enough to put as many glaring scientific inaccuracies into a post by accident. He doesn't really engage in the discussion, just makes his proclamation and watches. It's not what I'd call participation, and it doesn't feel like trolling. Maybe he is just a nut.
Everybody needs a hobby another thing everybody needs is somebody to point at, laugh, and say "thank God, I'm not that bad,' so I guess we all win!
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AndyC
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« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2010, 12:42:52 PM »

Quote
Bombs in da Sun!!!  In Superman IV:  The Quest for Peace, the s-man takes all the world's nuclear stockpile and where does he dispose of it?  In a black hole?  Nope.  Out in a far away galaxy beyond the reach of man?  You wish!  What does he do?  Throw them in the sun!  Bad idea.  I mean, sure the sun is 500 times bigger than the Earth.  Well we have enough nuclear missiles to destroy the world ten times over.  So imagine what they would do to the sun.  The Sun is a nuclear engine, yes a nuclear FUSION engine.  Nuclear missiles work by nuclear fission, quite the opposite.  So if you threw several hundred nuclear missiles into the sun, it would start a chain reaction which would ultimately destroy the sun, and Earth!

Sorry, but there's so much wrong with this I don't know where to begin...

Firstly: nuclear weapons can't literally destroy the world as in blow it to pieces. When this is said, it means that the after-effects of our entire nuclear arsenals being detonated would be enough to wipe out civilization or life ten times over, and even then this is only as estimate. The formula of gravitational binding energy gives a good estimate to the magnitude of energy required to actually blow the world to pieces (and so thoroughly the pieces are freed of their mutual gravity), and this comes to around 2.24E+32 joules, or around 53 Quadrillion Megatons, compare that to the size of the world nuclear arsenal (somewhere over 5000 Megatons) and you'll see how small an effect we'd have on the actual planet with our little firecrackers.

Secondly: Most modern nuclear warheads work via a small fission reaction to create fusion, not fission absolute. The sun is a giant ball of plasma, that is matter held together by gravity, and the fusion comes from the ultra-dense conditions at its core. As has already been pointed out, the weapons should be vaporized before they can detonate (this is a point where the film goes wrong), and even in the event of them detonating, there is a no known mechanism in physics for such a chain reaction to take place that could progress from small fission and fusion explosions to destabilizing an entire star.

Thirdly: The sun is massive. MASSIVE. The amount of energy released by the world's entire nuclear arsenal is absolutely and utterly insignificant compared to the sun. It wouldn't even belch as it ate that crap up.

I compare it to what you say here
Quote
Why?  Because trying to trigger earthquakes with a single ballistic missile is like knocking down the whole Empire State Building with a basketball.


True enough. There's no fusion taking place anywhere near the surface of the sun, just in the core. And if I'm not mistaken, the centre of stars is where heavy elements are made, including fissionable ones like uranium. Why? Because the sheer weight of the star pushes the particles together. I don't think fission can even occur there. Fission and fusion are basically the same thing - a competition between the forces pushing the particles together and the forces pushing them apart. It's just a question of which force is strong enough to overcome the other.

And as others have said, the bombs won't get anywhere near the sun intact. But let's assume they do go off before they vaporize. I really love the way nukes are assumed to work like conventional weapons, that they might explode with full force if they get hot or otherwise damaged. A nuclear weapon is a pretty carefully designed and constructed thing, and detonation depends on everything being precisely timed and working just so. If you set off the explosive lenses willy-nilly by heating up the bomb, all you're going to do is blow it to pieces.

As to whether you can trigger an earthquake with a missile, remember that we're talking about a nuclear warhead (hence the mushroom cloud and the danger of Hackensack being completely destroyed), aimed at a carefully chosen spot along a major fault line, with the intention of releasing the natural tectonic stresses built up there. Major earthquakes happen on their own, the plan was not to produce an earthquake from scratch, but to give nature a little push.

That said, underground nuclear tests have produced the equivalent of earthquakes, one of them as high as 7.0 on the Richter scale, with aftershocks over the next few weeks. That was the Cannikin test in Alaska - a 5Mt bomb planted a mile underground. Consider that the US has detonated a bomb three times that yield, and the Russians tested an aircraft-deliverable bomb ten times the yield of Cannikin (and possibly 20 times if they'd used the depleted uranium tamper the design called for). It was possible to drop a 100Mt bomb from an airplane in the 60s. The 50Mt version still managed to leave a hole in the ground bigger than my hometown.

So, to recap, nuclear weapons are insignificant as far as the sun or the entire earth are concerned, but they can be very effective at making the ground shake.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 02:33:37 PM by AndyC » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2010, 12:55:08 PM »

I usually don't feed the trolls, but what the hell? This is fun.

QuestionKryptonite  What is this stuff and why is it deadly to Superman?  Allegedly its made up of the fragments of his homeworld of Krypton.  If this Kryptonite was so deadly to him, then why didn't it kill the populace of Krypton before its sun went nova?

Of course, any element of your home planet is going to be perfectly safe, like arsenic and lead and radium and all those other wholesome, natural substances. I mean, if they're poisonous, why isn't everybody dead?

BounceGiggle Superman makes a diamond out of a piece of coal  I know what you're thinking, diamonds are made of pure carbon so this is possible.  Yes, its possible.  But the problem is Superman made a 1 karat diamond out of a piece of coal that was less than half a pound.  He would
have needed a lot more coal than that to create a diamond of that size.  In reality, that little lump of coal would have created a diamond that was microscopic in size.

He made a diamond with his bare hands and you're concerned about the amount of coal he used? Give your head a shake.

« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 02:30:25 PM by AndyC » Logged

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WWW
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2010, 01:55:53 PM »

QuestionKryptonite  What is this stuff and why is it deadly to Superman?  Allegedly its made up of the fragments of his homeworld of Krypton.  If this Kryptonite was so deadly to him, then why didn't it kill the populace of Krypton before its sun went nova?

It became radioactive when the Krypton sun went supernova.
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WWW
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2010, 02:42:46 PM »

Sorry, didn't realize the original poster was really a troll or I wouldn't have encouraged him. Thought he was kidding. Maybe someone can put up a list of problem children for this site.

I don't see his trolling (if that's what it is) as a problem.  If it becomes a problem, then I'm sure he'll be banned.   
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« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2010, 09:42:14 AM »

Thought I'd pass on some clarification of the "destroy the world ten times over" argument we've been hearing for years. I was already aware that the damage done increases much less as the bomb yield gets higher, and fallout is such a widely variable thing that it's hard to put into concrete terms, but I finally got around to looking up the overkill argument, to see where it actually comes from. As far as I can tell, it's quoting (or rather misquoting) Philip Noel-Baker, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who said this in 1971:

"Both the US and the Soviet Union now possess nuclear stockpiles large enough to exterminate mankind three or four - some say ten - times over"

Notice he said "exterminate mankind" and not "destroy the world." But setting aside four decades of people getting that wrong, it was wrong when he said it. He was, after all, a politician, not a physicist. I was able to find an article by Brian Martin, an Australian social science professor, published in 1982. Martin does come from a physics background, and keep in mind that Martin is, among other things, a peace activist. Gotta give him credit for putting scientific accuracy ahead of ideology.

Quote
Many people believe that the capacity of nuclear weapons for 'overkill' means that all or most of the people on earth would die in a major nuclear war. In spite of the prevalence of this idea, there is little scientific evidence to support it.

Many calculations of 'overkill' appear to be made using the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a baseline. Estimates of the number of people killed at Hiroshima from a 13kt bomb range from 63,000 to over 200,000. Adopting a figure of 130,000 for illustrative purposes gives ten people killed for each tonne of nuclear explosive. By linear extrapolation, explosion of a third of a million times as much explosive power, 4000Mt, would kill a third of a million times as many people, namely 40,000 million, or nearly ten times the present world population.

But this factor of ten is misleading, since linear extrapolation does not apply. Suppose the bomb dropped on Hiroshima had been 1000 times as powerful, 13Mt. It could not have killed 1000 times as many people, but at most the entire population of Hiroshima perhaps 250,000. Re-doing the 'overkill' calculation using these figures gives not a figure of ten but of only 0.02. This example shows that crude linear extrapolations of this sort are unlikely to provide any useful information about the effects of nuclear war.

'Overkill' can be meaningful if applied to specific targets which will be attacked by several nuclear weapons.[50] But applied to the entire world population the concept of 'overkill' is misleading. By the same logic it might be said that there is enough water in the oceans to drown everyone ten times.
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« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2010, 12:40:04 PM »

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By the same logic it might be said that there is enough water in the oceans to drown everyone ten times.
I just want to say for the record, that it's extremely hard to drown a person a second time.  If you do it right, they're actually going to be ddead after the first time and unlikely tro come back, much less come back 9 more times in a way that's easily killed. 

Just sayin'. 
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« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2010, 02:28:17 PM »

Quote
By the same logic it might be said that there is enough water in the oceans to drown everyone ten times.
I just want to say for the record, that it's extremely hard to drown a person a second time.  If you do it right, they're actually going to be ddead after the first time and unlikely tro come back, much less come back 9 more times in a way that's easily killed. 

Just sayin'. 

Look out, he's possessed by WyreWizard. Buggedout
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