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From: (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: nuclear shaped charges
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 01:11:28 GMT

In article <>,
Scott Lowther  <> wrote:
>Has there been much published in the declassified world on nuclear
>shaped charges?

No.  In fact, even some nuclear-weapons types have said that they're not
sure what Ted Taylor could be thinking of when he alludes to them.  (All
existing [unclassified] literature references to them appear to originate
with him.)

One should remember that the nuclear-weapons guys have sometimes been
optimistic about being able to do something that they couldn't actually
deliver when they tried... such as the fission-free nuclear bombs that
Orion badly needed.

>An idea: wrap a nuke in a cylinder of graphite composite material. The
>bomb will, of course, tear the cylinder to flinders... but in that
>fraction of a second before it does so, would there be a noticable
>increase in the blast along the axis?

Nope.  The forces involved are so far beyond the strength of any material,
in fact so far beyond the ultimate limiting strength of molecule-based
materials, that such tricks would have no useful effect.  You probably
need to think in terms of influencing which way the X-ray pulse goes;
that's how most of the energy comes out of the core, and it can be
controlled and directed to some small extent, as is done for fusion-bomb
The good old days                   |  Henry Spencer
weren't.                            |      (aka

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