Author Topic: Black Holes  (Read 21268 times)

Offline CK9

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« Reply #150 on: June 09, 2010, 07:06:16 PM »
freeza, there is more than one type of nuke.  One of the nukes dropped on Japan was a fusion bomb, the other a fission bomb.  But yea, neither would work :P
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Offline Hooman

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« Reply #151 on: June 10, 2010, 02:44:58 AM »
Umm, I believe they were both fission bombs. One was uranium, the other plutonium. Both those atoms are heavy and release energy when split. The lighter atoms, such as hydrogen release energy when they fuse. If you've ever seen a graph of nuclear binding energy you'll see that iron is the most nuclear stable element, with atoms lighter than iron releasing energy during fusion (and hence taking energy to split), and atome heavier than iron releasing energy during fission (and hence taking energy to fuse).


At any rate, I believe this to be possibly irrelevant to the question of igniting Jupiter. Since Jupiter is mostly light elements, it would be powered by nuclear fusion. From what I understand it takes heat and pressure to ignite such a reaction, and the heat released by the reaction would probably be able to maintain it provided the pressure remains sufficient and the fuel source doesn't run out. As Jupiter has no shortage of fuel, and I believe the heat from either type of nuclear device could be sufficient, I suspect pressure would be the major factor. Jupiter certainly is big, with lots of gravity, and I assume lots of pressure, but I'm not sure it's enough. After all, it hasn't ignited already. Also, the pressure would be greatest at the core, and I expect any probes crashing into Jupiter would burn up long before reaching the core, somewhere in the upper atmosphere where pressure isn't as great.


Now, if a probe was crashing into a giant planet made of uranium, which for some reason was significantly pure, despite natural tendencies, I suppose it might matter if the probe died a firey death or a firey/neutron death. In which case the nature of the reaction might matter. Although, both fusion and fission reactions can release neutrons, from what I've read. But, this case of a planet of fissile uranium (or plutonium) would seem to be far less likely. Actually, the more I think about it, the more ludicrous it's starting to sound. Especially since the density of a planet wouldn't be uniform, and density matters here for whether the reaction is spontaneous or not. Again, if the core hasn't already ignited, then the surface probably isn't anywhere near as dense as needed to sustain a reaction. Further, the heavier elements would probably end up in the core, making uranium an unlikely crust. At best you'd probably be talking about a small asteriod chunk of uranium, which wouldn't have enough gravity to hold itself together after igniting.


In summary, from what little I know of nuclear chemsitry and the formation of stars, I somehow doubt we'd be igniting any gas giants by accident, and probably not even if we tried. Mind you, it would be cool to try it and see (in someone else's solar system).
 
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 02:59:44 AM by Hooman »

Offline DartStriker

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« Reply #152 on: June 10, 2010, 03:51:49 AM »
Hooman, You have a way with blowing minds. -chuckle- A really enjoyable read.

Creating a second star would look pretty awesome, and probably be quite helpful in understanding the planets more. Though, as you said, in someone else's solar system as I imagine igniting any of our gas giants would cause drastic changes to Earth, and not necessarily good ones.


Anyway, here is the link where I found the information about the black spot on Jupiter, and it's accident.: Did NASA accidentally "Nuke" Jupiter?"
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 03:53:18 AM by DartStriker »

Offline Moley

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« Reply #153 on: June 10, 2010, 06:13:27 AM »
Wow.... this brings memories... has anyone read the book 2001 a Space Odyssey?
in the sequels Jupiter gets ignited...
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Offline CK9

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« Reply #154 on: June 10, 2010, 09:36:31 AM »
Quote
Umm, I believe they were both fission bombs.
"Little Boy" was a fusion bomb, "Fat Man" was a fission bomb.  Unfortunately, wiki has the best image I'm seeing to display this:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm..._Components.png

The total uranium mass was in two parts, and detonation was caused by forcing these parts to fuse together via small explosives at the back of the bomb.

But yea, it's futile discussing the idea of a new sun born from Jupiter...besides, some scientists believe we already are a binary system to to the precision in the frequency of extinction-level events.
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Offline Hooman

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« Reply #155 on: June 11, 2010, 12:17:38 AM »
Quote
"Little Boy" was a fusion bomb, "Fat Man" was a fission bomb.

They were both fission bombs. The "Little Boy" used Uranium 235 with a gun type trigger, where a conventional explosive forced a hollowed uranium mass onto a target unranium spike to achieve critial mass. The "Fat Man" used a Plutonium core with surrounding conventional explosives to produce an implosion trigger which compacted the core to critical mass. I think you may be confusing the trigger mechanism with the nature of the nuclear reaction.

In the gun type device, two separate pieces of Uranium were forced together, which achieved critical mass, causing the uranium atoms to split.


The first fusion bomb wasn't tested until around 1952, after the war.
 

Offline CK9

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« Reply #156 on: June 11, 2010, 11:27:33 AM »
hmmm....then my 20th century history professor needs to be re-educated, heh
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Offline Freeza-CII

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« Reply #157 on: June 11, 2010, 10:08:31 PM »
Yes there are fusion bombs but they are initiated with a fission reaction first. So it may yet be possible to start a fusion reaction in jupiter with a hydrogen bomb or even a fission bomb.

Offline evecolonycamander

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« Reply #158 on: June 11, 2010, 10:25:44 PM »
even if Jupiter WAS set aflame earth wouldn't feel a thing. for one Jupiter is almost 1 AU away. for another Jupiter would be dimmer then ANY other known star. dimmer then even a red dwarf.

on another note
i heard that  Jupiter has a solid surface the size of earth. is there ANY confirmation on this?
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