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Subject: biggest nukes
dudley    4/15/2004 2:54:52 PM
probably hydrogen but how about a 10 megaton atomic bomb?whats the biggest in the us,ussr,france etc.say if you dropped a 10 megaton bomb on a city how many square miles would be destoyed physically?take la metro its like 1500 sq miles of nothing but one big city.
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Roman    RE:biggest nukes   4/15/2004 4:56:40 PM
The most powerful nuclear weapon ever built was the Russian Tsar Bomba. The bomb's mass was 27 tonnes, so only the Tu-95 was capable of carrying it and it was at the maximum payload while doing so. The bomb's yield was 100 megatons. In order to limit fallout, however, the Soviets decided to test only a version in which the tertiary uranium stage had been replaced with lead, which meant that the yield of the test was to be 'only' 50 megatons - half that of the fullblown bomb. Even so, this was the largest nuclear explosion ever conducted by man. The full weapon would be capable of causing total destruction in an area 60 kilometers wide (radius 30 km), wreak heavy damage in a space 100 km across (radius 50 km) and cause 3rd degree burns in an area 170 km wide (radius 85 km). This was also a very dirty weapon (that's why the dirty 3rd stage was not used in the test) and lethal fallout would be enormous and cover a truly vast area (lethal levels of fallout could be reached as far as 1,000s of kilometers away). The weapon was a total overkill for all targets apart from megacities the size of New York or Tokyo.
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Ex98C    RE:biggest nukes   4/15/2004 5:41:29 PM
The problem with large bombs is that you really don;t do much additional damage area wise once you hit a certain point. Because moving that extra meter away from the impact point is a lot more valume. A multi-megatonne sized warhead is pure politics now doesn;t do appreciable more dmage than a 500 kilo-tonne weapon
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OzWobbles    RE:biggest nukes   5/15/2004 7:09:01 PM
Continuing on from Ex98C's thought, a more "efficient" way of destroying a larger area, rather than using say a 10-megaton warhead, is to use 10 1-megaton warheads spread out, which will cover a much larger area - or even 10 300-kiloton warheads. We're still talking within the throwing capacity of a single Cold War ICBM. The old Titan II's used to carry a single 9 megaton warhead, while the Peacekeeper could carry up to 10 400-kiloton warheads.
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hybrid    RE:biggest nukes   5/17/2004 3:08:14 AM
Largest theoretical nukes are the "gigaton mines", which are basically multiple stage deuterium hydride thermonuclear devices. Just so happens the devices are as big as submarines and need to brought up to the coast of a country, but still..those would be theoretically the largest possible ever contemplated so far and practically feasible to make.
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elcid    Roman has an interesting theory   5/29/2004 9:49:47 PM
However, while he has the yield correct, he has the technology wrong. The "weapon" was not an offensive nw at all, and it was not a bomber weapon either. It was a "defensive" weapon intended to take out a whole bunch of incoming nw in one shot. Deform the nuclear mass, mess up the detonation circuits, at relatively long ranges. In effect, a gigantic EMP weapon. For use over own territory, and in fact tested over own territory. Further, the thing got away - that is, the yield was greater than intended. It was the warhead of the Russian heavy ABM, and it was deployed in a modified (reduced) form. It also was not the biggest nw by weight. The first US hydrogen bomb was not a bomb at all, but a "device" - too big to put on a heavy bomber - and it also got away - and was accidentally our largest yield test. It hurt a bunch of Japanese fishermen, and some Pacific Islanders, who should not have been too close, if only we had done the math right (but we didn't). The best source on this (and other US weapons) is US Nuclear Weapons by Chuch Hanson (pretty pictures too - almost a coffee table book in spite of massive data). The ABM thing was actually similar to our ABM system, only larger, intended to take out an entire wave aimed at Moscow over a period of 12-15 minutes. We are talking really big here. And it messed up the neighborhood, as you can imagine.
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elcid    Hybreds idea was once proposed by a Russian   5/29/2004 9:52:15 PM
Beriev actually proposed a weapon like Hybred suggests - a mini sub which was basically an engine and a bomb - to be used in places like New York Harbor. Stalin never let the idea get off the ground. Or in the water. But the original atom bombs were supposed to be that big - read Einstein's letter to Roosevelt - he proposes putting it on a ship.
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Tracer_Tong    RE:biggest nukes   6/14/2004 12:59:32 PM
the most powerful weapons that can be created in the realm of physics would be antimatter weapons. 3.5 kilograms of antimatter reacting with an equal amount of matter could possibly produce a 64.4 megaton blast. Such weapons will not be around anytime soon though as current techniques for producing antimatter consume more energy than the antimatter would release. And even still antimatter is very unstable and would require that the antimatter not come in contact with matter at all until it detonates. This would require a magnetic field and if that failed accidently. The biggest nuke exploded was Tsar Bomba, a 50 magaton blast. The biggest US nuke exploded was a 20 megaton HBomb in the pacific and the largest militarily practical/useful warhead was a 9 megaton warhead used for "bunker busting" (though the old brute force method of detonating against the ground and letting the shock destroy a bunker).
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Tomonaga    from Russia with love   3/29/2005 12:35:08 AM
the Russian SS-18 "Satan" can deliver a 24 megaton warhead
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Jerry W. Loper    Link to big nuke website   3/30/2005 12:29:52 PM
Below's a link to a website listing H-bombs with explosive yields more than 4.5 megatons. The Russian "Tsar Bomba" (King of Bombs) theoretically had a yield of up to 150 megatons, but its military usefulness was dubious. In the more practical category both the USA and USSR deployed 25-megaton monsters, for the USA, the Mk-41 gravity bomb, and for the USSR some SS-18 (or R-36M) missile warheads.
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mustavaris    RE:Hybreds idea was once proposed by a Russian   5/5/2005 5:31:29 PM
That Tsar bomb was the radiologically cleanest nuclear bomb ever exploded... Not at all dirty when comparing to other nuclear bombs. Some 98 % off the energy came from fusion which is a very clean method. Of course, due to scale there was radioactive fallout but a lot less than those caused by bombs with way smaller yield. cheers.
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