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3mnkids
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« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2010, 03:42:34 PM »

Wow, this thread has been a very interesting read in an omg wtf kinda way.   Thumbup
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WyreWizard
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« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2010, 03:32:03 PM »

I thank you all for your comments and insights.  However, I must say I disagree with those of you who said nukes wouldn't affect the sun.  One or two of you said Nuclear fission and fusion are the same.  HELLO!  They are not.  They are the complete opposite of each other.  Nuclear fission is when atoms explode and their quarks hit other atoms causing them to explode, thus creating a chain reaction of exploding atoms.  Nuclear fusion is when atoms under great heat and pressure fuse to form new elements.

Now, we all saw how the S-Man threw those hundred or so nukes into the sun.  But they didn't explode before they touched the sun.  They clearly hit the sun's corona before they exploded.  The resulting explosion would have sent fissioning atoms and quarks straight into the sun.  The suns heat would have not been able to stop them.  When those atoms and quarks hit the helium atoms deep inside the sun, they would break down into hydrogen.  The chain reaction from that would have sent the sun into a younger state.  Then the hydrogen atoms would be destroyed.  Slowly, the sun's energy would decrease.  It would lose pressure and not be able to hold itself together.  The sun would gradually cool down and turn into an inert cloud.
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AndyC
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« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2010, 05:27:56 PM »

I thank you all for your comments and insights.  However, I must say I disagree with those of you who said nukes wouldn't affect the sun.  One or two of you said Nuclear fission and fusion are the same.  HELLO!  They are not.  They are the complete opposite of each other.  Nuclear fission is when atoms explode and their quarks hit other atoms causing them to explode, thus creating a chain reaction of exploding atoms.  Nuclear fusion is when atoms under great heat and pressure fuse to form new elements.

Now, we all saw how the S-Man threw those hundred or so nukes into the sun.  But they didn't explode before they touched the sun.  They clearly hit the sun's corona before they exploded.  The resulting explosion would have sent fissioning atoms and quarks straight into the sun.  The suns heat would have not been able to stop them.  When those atoms and quarks hit the helium atoms deep inside the sun, they would break down into hydrogen.  The chain reaction from that would have sent the sun into a younger state.  Then the hydrogen atoms would be destroyed.  Slowly, the sun's energy would decrease.  It would lose pressure and not be able to hold itself together.  The sun would gradually cool down and turn into an inert cloud.


There is so much wrong with that one statement, he's surely baiting people, because he can't seriously believe anything that crazy (at least I hope not). I'm going to assume it was a joke, but again, I'm enjoying this, so what the hell, I'll play.

You gave a very... interesting.... description of how fission and fusion usually happen in a bomb and in the sun, respectively. But you don't have a clue how they work, much less how they would interact. There is no magic, just the forces that govern the movement of particles, binding them together or pushing them apart. The heaviest elements, including all fission fuels, have atoms large enough that their nuclei are not held together all that securely, so they split all by themselves, decaying into other elements and giving off energy and particles. Of greatest interest in nuclear weapon design are neutrons (not quarks). Fission is an ongoing process that even occurs to a very small degree in substances we would consider stable, such as zinc. Why does fission occur? Because the forces that bind the nucleus are just barely strong enough to hold it together, and sometimes not strong enough. Capturing extra neutrons is, in the case of uranium or plutonium, the straw that breaks the camel's back, which is what allows us to create a sustained chain reaction in a reactor or a bomb. But under normal circumstances, fission just carries on. And atoms don't explode, they split and release radiation of varying wavelengths, including heat and light. The explosion comes when that energy hits the surrounding matter. If you've ever seen footage of a nuclear explosion in space, where the only significant matter around is the bomb itself, it looks nothing like an atmospheric blast. I suppose the Superman movies did get that wrong.

Now, let's take a look at just how hard it is to sustain an explosive chain reaction in big, heavy, unstable atoms of fission fuel, much less in anything else (helium, for example Lookingup). To achieve a supercritical fission reaction (boom), you need to meet a certain minimum ratio of mass to surface area - more neutrons produced and less opportunity for them to get away. You can either assemble a greater mass, as in the Little Boy bomb, or decrease the surface area by implosion. This is usually accompanied by an injection of neutrons to get things going. And at that point, the immediate result of that release of energy is that your fuel is going to expand and finally vaporize, thus tipping the balance of volume to surface area the other way. This is why the Little Boy bomb used less than two percent of its fuel. A good deal of nuclear weapon development has involved finding ways to get more fission to occur during that brief instant when conditions are right for it. That very brief instant while the bomb is still in one piece. The fission reaction is over by the time its effects are seen.

Fusion, on the other hand, involves pushing (usually light) atoms together against the forces that cause them to repel one another, until the binding force (the same one overcome in a fission reaction) can fuse the nuclei into one. It's just a balancing act, nothing more. To say fission and fusion are two different things because they work in opposite directions is about as idiotic as saying that pushing is in no way related to pulling for the same reason.

A fission reaction would do nothing to the sun. And again, all the fusion is happening deep inside the sun anyway, so the two reactions will never meet. And if they somehow did meet in the centre of the sun, the same forces that push the light elements together would act in opposition to the forces splitting the heavy elements apart. For all we know, the centre of the sun could contain extremely heavy elements that couldn't exist anywhere else

The only way in which the two reactions have ever enhanced one another is when an artificial situation was created in which the two are induced together - an H-bomb. The heat, radiation and pressure of a fission reaction (which is over by the time this happens) will cause hydrogen to fuse into helium. And when two atoms of tritium come together, they give off four very energetic neutrons. These neutrons, in turn, induce fission in a depleted uranium tamper, U-238 being unable to sustain a chain reaction except under neutron bombardment. This is where about half of the average hydrogen bomb's yield comes from - fission induced by the fusion reaction. But to get that, you have to wrap the fusion reaction in uranium, to catch the neutrons. And there is no real chain reaction, because without the neutron bombardment, there would be no fission of that third stage. The same principle works to a lesser degree in a boosted fission weapon, which has a tiny bit of tritium in the centre of the fission core as a source of extra neutrons to speed up the fission reaction and produce more energy before the fuel comes apart.

But again, it comes down to scale. Big fusion reaction buried inside big star vs. little fission reaction. Only in a small, enclosed device, will the two processes ever affect one another, and that is in successive stages (albeit extremely quick succession) of fission, fusion, fission - not together. On the sun, not a chance. The sun is too big to be affected directly, and there is no means by which a fission explosion is going to induce any kind of chain reaction in a light gas. Think about it - fission uses fuel too heavy (in practical terms anyway) to undergo fusion and fusion uses fuel too light to undergo fission. They are two sides of the same coin, or perhaps two sides of the same balance scale. Hell, they both give off the same particle - neutrons. And the fusion reaction gives off more of them. Bombarding the sun with neutrons will achieve exactly sweet f**k all.

In conclusion, don't argue nuclear weapons with me, Sonny. I've spent a lot of time studying the history as well as the workings of them over the years. It's not quite a hobby, but it's an area of intense interest. And yet I can still enjoy monster movies from the 50s without once being bothered by the grossly inaccurate portrayal of nuclear energy. Boy, am I stupid. Twirling

As for the sun's corona apparently having a hard boundary, I'm not even going to go there. Talking nukes is fun, but I don't think I'll go further than that.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 05:59:32 PM by AndyC » Logged

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joejoeherron
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« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2010, 04:54:30 AM »

superman is a fictional chatacter, right ?
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AndyC
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« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2010, 06:50:25 AM »

superman is a fictional chatacter, right ?

Yeah, but that doesn't seem to matter. Personally, I'd have just said that Superman throwing a big bag of assorted bombs into the sun looked dumb. Quibbling over the technicalities of a movie like Superman 4 is kind of like picking smelly bits out of a garbage dump.

But that's how WW gets his kicks, by posting some absurd, inflammatory hoo-ha and finding it incredibly funny that people want to discuss it with him.

But a discussion of nuclear physics is a discussion of nuclear physics, and that's interesting. And as trolls go, WW does an admirable job of staying out of the topics he starts, which can allow them to grow into something more than nitpicking.
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Oscar
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Meurdher? Who said meurdher??!!


« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2010, 12:24:55 PM »

Guess I can't post hyperlinks or pictures yet but take a look at this to see how silly the idea that our nuclear weapons could affect the sun really is. Go to You tube and search "How Small Is Earth?". The comparison of earth to the sun is at about 36 seconds in. The rest is showing how tiny the sun is compared to other stars.
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Rev. Powell
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Click on that globe for 366 Weird Movies


WWW
« Reply #36 on: May 21, 2010, 03:57:07 PM »

Guess I can't post hyperlinks or pictures yet but take a look at this to see how silly the idea that our nuclear weapons could affect the sun really is. Go to You tube and search "How Small Is Earth?". The comparison of earth to the sun is at about 36 seconds in. The rest is showing how tiny the sun is compared to other stars.


I think you need a minimum of ten posts before you can post a link.  But here you go:

Small | Large


This thread is actually quite educational.
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WyreWizard
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« Reply #37 on: May 21, 2010, 06:55:13 PM »



There is so much wrong with that one statement, he's surely baiting people, because he can't seriously believe anything that crazy (at least I hope not). I'm going to assume it was a joke, but again, I'm enjoying this, so what the hell, I'll play.

You gave a very... interesting.... description of how fission and fusion usually happen in a bomb and in the sun, respectively. But you don't have a clue how they work, much less how they would interact. There is no magic, just the forces that govern the movement of particles, binding them together or pushing them apart. The heaviest elements, including all fission fuels, have atoms large enough that their nuclei are not held together all that securely, so they split all by themselves, decaying into other elements and giving off energy and particles. Of greatest interest in nuclear weapon design are neutrons (not quarks). Fission is an ongoing process that even occurs to a very small degree in substances we would consider stable, such as zinc. Why does fission occur? Because the forces that bind the nucleus are just barely strong enough to hold it together, and sometimes not strong enough. Capturing extra neutrons is, in the case of uranium or plutonium, the straw that breaks the camel's back, which is what allows us to create a sustained chain reaction in a reactor or a bomb. But under normal circumstances, fission just carries on. And atoms don't explode, they split and release radiation of varying wavelengths, including heat and light. The explosion comes when that energy hits the surrounding matter. If you've ever seen footage of a nuclear explosion in space, where the only significant matter around is the bomb itself, it looks nothing like an atmospheric blast. I suppose the Superman movies did get that wrong.

Now, let's take a look at just how hard it is to sustain an explosive chain reaction in big, heavy, unstable atoms of fission fuel, much less in anything else (helium, for example Lookingup). To achieve a supercritical fission reaction (boom), you need to meet a certain minimum ratio of mass to surface area - more neutrons produced and less opportunity for them to get away. You can either assemble a greater mass, as in the Little Boy bomb, or decrease the surface area by implosion. This is usually accompanied by an injection of neutrons to get things going. And at that point, the immediate result of that release of energy is that your fuel is going to expand and finally vaporize, thus tipping the balance of volume to surface area the other way. This is why the Little Boy bomb used less than two percent of its fuel. A good deal of nuclear weapon development has involved finding ways to get more fission to occur during that brief instant when conditions are right for it. That very brief instant while the bomb is still in one piece. The fission reaction is over by the time its effects are seen.

Fusion, on the other hand, involves pushing (usually light) atoms together against the forces that cause them to repel one another, until the binding force (the same one overcome in a fission reaction) can fuse the nuclei into one. It's just a balancing act, nothing more. To say fission and fusion are two different things because they work in opposite directions is about as idiotic as saying that pushing is in no way related to pulling for the same reason.

A fission reaction would do nothing to the sun. And again, all the fusion is happening deep inside the sun anyway, so the two reactions will never meet. And if they somehow did meet in the centre of the sun, the same forces that push the light elements together would act in opposition to the forces splitting the heavy elements apart. For all we know, the centre of the sun could contain extremely heavy elements that couldn't exist anywhere else

The only way in which the two reactions have ever enhanced one another is when an artificial situation was created in which the two are induced together - an H-bomb. The heat, radiation and pressure of a fission reaction (which is over by the time this happens) will cause hydrogen to fuse into helium. And when two atoms of tritium come together, they give off four very energetic neutrons. These neutrons, in turn, induce fission in a depleted uranium tamper, U-238 being unable to sustain a chain reaction except under neutron bombardment. This is where about half of the average hydrogen bomb's yield comes from - fission induced by the fusion reaction. But to get that, you have to wrap the fusion reaction in uranium, to catch the neutrons. And there is no real chain reaction, because without the neutron bombardment, there would be no fission of that third stage. The same principle works to a lesser degree in a boosted fission weapon, which has a tiny bit of tritium in the centre of the fission core as a source of extra neutrons to speed up the fission reaction and produce more energy before the fuel comes apart.

But again, it comes down to scale. Big fusion reaction buried inside big star vs. little fission reaction. Only in a small, enclosed device, will the two processes ever affect one another, and that is in successive stages (albeit extremely quick succession) of fission, fusion, fission - not together. On the sun, not a chance. The sun is too big to be affected directly, and there is no means by which a fission explosion is going to induce any kind of chain reaction in a light gas. Think about it - fission uses fuel too heavy (in practical terms anyway) to undergo fusion and fusion uses fuel too light to undergo fission. They are two sides of the same coin, or perhaps two sides of the same balance scale. Hell, they both give off the same particle - neutrons. And the fusion reaction gives off more of them. Bombarding the sun with neutrons will achieve exactly sweet f**k all.

In conclusion, don't argue nuclear weapons with me, Sonny. I've spent a lot of time studying the history as well as the workings of them over the years. It's not quite a hobby, but it's an area of intense interest. And yet I can still enjoy monster movies from the 50s without once being bothered by the grossly inaccurate portrayal of nuclear energy. Boy, am I stupid. Twirling

As for the sun's corona apparently having a hard boundary, I'm not even going to go there. Talking nukes is fun, but I don't think I'll go further than that.

I have just 1 question for you.  Are you a quantum physicist?  You sure do talk like one.

« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 06:57:06 PM by WyreWizard » Logged

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AndyC
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« Reply #38 on: May 21, 2010, 07:34:38 PM »

A physicist probably wouldn't put it in such vague terms. I'm just a layman who has read some books on the subject.
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Oscar
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Meurdher? Who said meurdher??!!


« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2010, 02:31:19 PM »

Rev, Thanks for the link posting help. You probably saw there were several similar videos, all basically the same.
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The Gravekeeper
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« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2010, 12:56:04 AM »

All this talk about whether or not a bunch of nuclear bombs would set off a chain reaction if they were thrown into the Sun has reminded me of a certain...other...movie. A movie that mentions a fictional bomb that, when detonated, would cause sunlight to explode in a chain reaction that would pretty much destroy the universe.
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