Jameel Leers Posted “I’m a carpenter with a bit of an interest in physics. Today while eating lunch on a building site i realised something that i need confirming or de-bunking. Here it is: I believe an Atomic Bomb wouldn’t work in space. Here’s why: Take 90 kgs of tnt, when it detonates it is self-oxidising and instantly sublimes into rapidly expanding gases. The TNT also releases energy in the form of heat, light, sound and more importantly, kinetic energy in gases given as Ek = 1/2 MV^2. An atomic bomb only realeases heat and light. All the expanding gas, the kinetic energy, is provided by heating the atmosphere. The atmposphere around the A-blast is super heated expands, providing the destructive energy. This is why an atomic bomb blast appears to ‘suck back’. Because the bomb doesn’t make its own gas, and gas that it displaces by expansion cools and returns to ground zero. In the vacuum of space however, the atom bomb will produce only heat and light. The heat will instantly vaporise the supercritical elements and turn to gas, and they will expand, but it will only be the same explosive force as a conventional explosive of the same weight. eg 100kg’s of U-235 will produce 100kg of expanding gas. Just as 100kg’s of TNT will produce 100kg’s of gas. So thats what i think. A-bomb won’t really work in space. It is still a nuclear chain reaction. Not a ‘bomb’ though… What do you think?”
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