August 4th, 2007


The structure of nuclear weapons.

Multistage thermonuclear weapons - the main component of today's strategic nuclear forces - are more complex. These employ a 'primary' fission weapon to serve merely as a trigger. As mentioned above, the fission weapon is characterized by a tremendous energy release in a small space over a short period of time. As a result, a very large fraction of the initial energy release is in the form of thermal X-rays.

These X-rays are channeled to a 'secondary' fusion package. The X-rays travel into a cavity within a cylindrical radiation container. The radiation pressure from these X-rays either directly, or through an intermediate material often cited as a polystyrene foam, ablates a cylindrical enclosure containing thermonuclear fuel; this can be Li2H (lithium deuteride). Running along the central axis of this fuel is a rod of fissile material, termed a 'sparkplug'.

The contracting fuel package becomes denser, the sparkplug begins to fission, neutrons from this transmute the Li2H into 3H that can readily fuse with 2H (the fusion reaction 3H + 2H has a very high cross-section, or probability, in typical secondary designs), heat increases greatly, and fusion continues through the fuel mass.

It always amazes me to read about this stuff, and realize that it was all put together in the 1950's. (Or even earlier, in the case of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.)
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Other proposed license plates from Ohio.

Lawmakers in Ohio said on Wednesday they want to force convicted sex offenders to use a fluorescent-green license plate on their cars so they can be easily identified. A Republican and a Democrat in the state legislature in Columbus have joined forces to propose the law, which echoes measures in several U.S. states that require convicted drunken drivers to use a yellow, pink or red plate on their cars. "The fluorescent-green license plate will make the most egregious sex offenders easily identifiable," state Democratic Rep. Michael DeBose said in a statement.

Personally, I think the atheist license plate needs more bright red hellfire flames! ;]

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Take my crap, please.

I have two things I want to give away because they're no use to me any more:

1) Notebook RAM: a 256 MB DDR1 PC2700 SODIMM (CAS latency 2.5). I've been doing some CAD on my notebook recently, and decided I needed more RAM. I upgraded to a 1 gig DIMM in the single expansion slot in the notebook, so I can't use this 256 MB one any more.

2) A USB wireless network adapter, 802.11 b/g. Belkin F5D7050. Fair warning: This thing has been a flaky piece of crap for me, hence why I'm getting rid of it. It may be an IRQ conflict because of my old mobo, or it may be the fact that I'm still running Win98SE, or whatever. It's been far more trouble than its worth to me, so if you want it, it's yours.

If nobody takes these, I'll put 'em up on Craigslist. Just thought I'd offer to my friends first.

Some good news for once: California mostly bans electronic voting machines.

California’s top election official on Friday decertified systems produced by Hart Intercivic, Diebold Election Systems and Sequoia Voting Systems effectively barring their use anywhere in the state. However, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has agreed to allow counties to use the machines in February’s presidential primary if strict new security precautions were taken.

Bowen said she made the decision in response to recent testing by a state sponsored panel of computer scientists demonstrated flaws in the machines that allowed the team to break through the security of every model tested and change results or take control of at least some of the systems' electronic functions.
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