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# Re: [GZG] A Heavy Missile Question

From: Nyrath the nearly wise <nyrath@p...>
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 22:40:26 -0400
Subject: Re: [GZG] A Heavy Missile Question
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david smith wrote:
> A nuclear weapon in space has exactly two ways to destroy a target:
soft
> X-rays and neutrons.

The best figures I've manage to find suggest that a
conventional nuclear warhead converts its destructive
energy into 80% soft x-rays, 10% gamma rays, and
10% neurons.

An enhanced radiation weapon AKA "neutron bomb"
puts out 20% soft x-rays and 80% neutrons,
but these are best guesses.  The US military
is very tight-lipped about such details.

One kiloton produces about 4.18 x 10^12 joules
of energy at ground zero.  If the distance
between the target and ground zero is x meters,
figure the surface area of a sphere with that
radius (4 * pi * r^2) and divide the amount
of joules by that to get joules per

In Ronald Reagan's SDI program, they assumed
that a flimsy Soviet missile could be mission
killed by subjecting it to about 100 mega-joules
per square meter.

If my slide rule is not lying to me, a 400 kiloton
warhead produces 360 kilotons of x-rays/gamma rays
and 40 kilotons of neutrons.

360 kilotons = 1.5 x 10^15 joules

If the warhead goes off one kilometer away from
a flimsy Soviet missile, the surface area of
square meters.

1.5 x 10^15 joules / 1.26 x 10^7 m^2
= 1.19 x 10^8 joules/m^2
= 119 mega-joules/m^2

So a 400 kt missile at a range of one kilometer
can barely scrag a flimsy Soviet missile.

Nuke notes:
http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3x.html#nuke

Armor notes:
http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3y.html#armor
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