Superbomb Ignites Science Dispute

clyder at clyder at
Mon Sep 29 15:12:16 MDT 2003

[ quoted text clipped; missing text inserted. ]

Quoting Les Schaffer <schaffer at>:
> the actual explosion mechanism is still unclear: would it be "just" a
> burst of gamma-ray light which kills people but not things (Bush would
> love that???) or would it create pressure shock wave which kills
> things too?
> it is, at least, FUD. and also a bargaining chip: Bush can be
> convinced by deals not to develop hafnium, but ok to produce low-yield
> nukes, etc etc

A substantial release of gamaray energy of the amount cited
in the New Scientist report that I read, would be preferentially
absorbed within the immediate vicinity of the emmitter and
greatly raise the temperature of the material absorbing it -
material in the vicinity would vapourise causing an explosion.

This of course is the mechanism by which a standard fission device
causes a large explosion.

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