Thread: Nuclear War.

  1. #1

    Nuclear War.

    I have a short question. When people refer to modern 'Nuclear War', what type of Bomb is it that is supposedly supposed to end the world were such a war to happen? I was looking up some different types and came across 'Tsar Bomba' a hydrogen bomb (The strongest type of nuclear bomb?) known as the king of bombs, the strongest nuclear weapon ever detonated.

    I recall hearing that in modern times, all you would need to destroy the earth would be 3 nukes fired around the world in certain places. I read when researching a bit that it would actually take more. My question, the nukes that are available now, are they stronger than Tsar Bomba and how many nukes would it take to destroy the earth?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    The Patient
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baaltheron View Post
    I have a short question. When people refer to modern 'Nuclear War', what type of Bomb is it that is supposedly supposed to end the world were such a war to happen? I was looking up some different types and came across 'Tsar Bomba' a hydrogen bomb (The strongest type of nuclear bomb?) known as the king of bombs, the strongest nuclear weapon ever detonated.

    I recall hearing that in modern times, all you would need to destroy the earth would be 3 nukes fired around the world in certain places. I read when researching a bit that it would actually take more. My question, the nukes that are available now, are they stronger than Tsar Bomba and how many nukes would it take to destroy the earth?

    Thanks.
    bigger yields mean bigger inefficiencies. The modern method of nuclear war has to do with rockets that have the capability to carry a number of nuclear warheads that can all be pointed at different targets. While these warheads are stronger than those detonated in conventional warfare, they are much less yield as something like the 'tsar bomb' as the focus is on multiple targets with one entry vehicle rather than the biggest explosion possible.

    the article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minutem..._.28LGM-30G.29 gives a decent example of the current ideas.

  3. #3
    Bloodsail Admiral bekilrwale's Avatar
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    3 nukes wouldn't destroy the world. 3 Nuclear missiles have a better shot, but still not close enough. The way modern nuclear weapons works is far different from mere bombs. We have MIRV's which is a ballistic missile, usually intercontinental, which carries multiple nuclear warheads. So a nuclear missile may contain up to 15 actual nuclear warheads, and with plutonium they are about x1000 more powerful, each, than the bomb we dropped on Hiroshima which was a gun type uranium bomb. A nuclear war is a misnomer and never would occur, the point of a nuclear weapon is respect. You never intend to really use a nuclear weapon. A good analogy is the stinger of a bee. If the bee uses his stinger, he dies. But the stinger serves a much stronger use than implementation. The stinger prevents other creatures from attacking the bee altogether. That is what a nuclear weapon is for. If you use one, you will be nuked yourself, assuring mutual annihilation. That is why countries with nukes will never attack countries with nukes. And why countries with nukes will never be invaded altogether. The biggest nuclear bomb the U.S. has dropped was Castle Bravo which, due to a miscalculation, ended up killing hundreds of civilians in the Phillipines. However, more powerful nukes have been developed. Thermonuclear weapons are our current most powerful. They consist of a fission bomb, like your traditional drop and boom. After this fission bomb explodes, the heat and pressure causes a small stash of usually radioactive hydrogen, tritium, to undergo fusion. This is the "real boom" and is hundreds of times stronger than the initial nuclear bomb. Our current nukes can undergo up to 3 stages, each being several hundred times stronger than the previous blast. This is why when you watch the most current nuclear explosions go off you see a flash and then a MASSIVE flash. The first is the incredibly powerful fusion of the plutonium. The subsequent flashes are fusion of tritium or such, and are inconceivably powerful. The explosion of the fusion bomb cant be seen, it moves too fast for the naked human eye. You will see a flash and then a massive fireball with no in-between if you aren't watching a slown down video.

    TL;DR: One nuclear missile contains multiple nuclear warheads, which are each thousands of times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. No country with a nuke will be invaded, nor will any country with a nuke use it's nuke offensively.
    "Death is not kind. It's dark, black as far as you can see, and you're all alone."

  4. #4
    The Lightbringer Vizardlorde's Avatar
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    you might want to change your bee analogy because plenty of bees have died stinging me for no reason

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by bekilrwale View Post
    3 nukes wouldn't destroy the world. 3 Nuclear missiles have a better shot, but still not close enough. The way modern nuclear weapons works is far different from mere bombs. We have MIRV's which is a ballistic missile, usually intercontinental, which carries multiple nuclear warheads. So a nuclear missile may contain up to 15 actual nuclear warheads, and with plutonium they are about x1000 more powerful, each, than the bomb we dropped on Hiroshima which was a gun type uranium bomb. A nuclear war is a misnomer and never would occur, the point of a nuclear weapon is respect. You never intend to really use a nuclear weapon. A good analogy is the stinger of a bee. If the bee uses his stinger, he dies. But the stinger serves a much stronger use than implementation. The stinger prevents other creatures from attacking the bee altogether. That is what a nuclear weapon is for. If you use one, you will be nuked yourself, assuring mutual annihilation. That is why countries with nukes will never attack countries with nukes. And why countries with nukes will never be invaded altogether. The biggest nuclear bomb the U.S. has dropped was Castle Bravo which, due to a miscalculation, ended up killing hundreds of civilians in the Phillipines. However, more powerful nukes have been developed. Thermonuclear weapons are our current most powerful. They consist of a fission bomb, like your traditional drop and boom. After this fission bomb explodes, the heat and pressure causes a small stash of usually radioactive hydrogen, tritium, to undergo fusion. This is the "real boom" and is hundreds of times stronger than the initial nuclear bomb. Our current nukes can undergo up to 3 stages, each being several hundred times stronger than the previous blast. This is why when you watch the most current nuclear explosions go off you see a flash and then a MASSIVE flash. The first is the incredibly powerful fusion of the plutonium. The subsequent flashes are fusion of tritium or such, and are inconceivably powerful. The explosion of the fusion bomb cant be seen, it moves too fast for the naked human eye. You will see a flash and then a massive fireball with no in-between if you aren't watching a slown down video.

    TL;DR: One nuclear missile contains multiple nuclear warheads, which are each thousands of times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. No country with a nuke will be invaded, nor will any country with a nuke use it's nuke offensively.
    That's really interesting, I figured they'd stopped making nuclear weapons since they have so many hidden away already.

  6. #6
    Bloodsail Admiral bekilrwale's Avatar
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    you might want to change your bee analogy because plenty of bees have died stinging me for no reason
    Lol, you were probably agitating them, but one way or another, you pissed off the little guys.
    "Death is not kind. It's dark, black as far as you can see, and you're all alone."

  7. #7
    Don't they use much larger atoms now to create more massive explosions.. like uranium over hydrogen? I know nothing I'm just asking.

  8. #8
    Heh. My first idea of the modern nuke was one super crazy powerful bomb you dropped that destroyed continents. >.>

  9. #9
    Earth's a big place. It would take a lot of nukes - a real lot - to actually destroy the world. Due to urban sprawl many cities one Nuke isn't even enough anymore. And something like Tsar bomba, the biggest nuke in history, would devastate an area the size of Maryland. Big for nuke, but you know, many orders of magnitude lower than things like the Meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago that creates a shockwave and wall of fire that incinerated all life between central Canada and Bolivia, and blanketed the Earth in a dust cloud for a thousand years. And that didn't destroy the world. Heck Earth earth was hit at an oblique angle by a Mars sized proto-planet about 4 billion years ago named Theia - created the Moon... and Earth wasn't destroyed.

    Modern nukes are generally speaking far weaker than the 50MT Tsar Bomba. The strongest Nuclear Bomb in the US Arsenal (to be carried by a B-2 or B-1B) is the 1.2 Megaton B83. It is however, more destructive than Tsar Bomba, because Mega bombs of that size were developed to make up for their terrible accuracy (bombs without guidance can drift by miles from their intended target). Modern nucler bombs and warheads are all GPS and inertial guided, meaning the'll have an Accuracy within 20 feet of their intended target. So they just don't need to be big.

    That said, there is is also little point to multi-megaton bombs. What's better? One giant warhead that can be taken out with one anti-missile system, or that same rocket carrying between 8 and 10 smaller, independently targetable warheads plus decoys? The last 40 years has been squarely on the side of the latter, not the former.

    The most numerically predominant US Nuclear Weapon is the W87, W88 (most advanced) and W78 series of warheads. These are all used on Minuteman III / Peacekeeper MX land based ICBMs or Submarine Launched Trident IIs, and all are MIRVED (multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle) with these warheads. If we launch five ICBM each carrying 10 warheads, and a Russian anti-missile system, manages to intercept 4, 10 warheads get through, and every major political and military installation in Russia would be destroyed. Here is the image of the trail of a Peacekeeper MX test with 8 dummy warheads. If the warheads had been life, the entire image would be just red.

    http://www.billdolson.com/SkyGround/...eentry-kmr.jpg

    It would take tens of millions of nukes to actually destroy the Earth from a physical standpoint, if it were even possible (indeed, if the kinect energy of a Mars sided planet didn't do it, what would?). In terms of rendering it uninhabitable, that's a lot more complicated. It depends on where the nukes were droped, the composition and the weather. If they included a cobalt, it could lead to the area being uninhabitable for thousands of years. If its just "normal" nukes, a few years would be enough (indeed people live in Hiroshima and Nagasaki today, do they not?). If it targeted the breadbaskets of the world, you could destroy it by causing human beings to starve to death en masse. If winds blow a certain way, a toxic cloud could spread halfway across the planet.

    Something to consider is that for all the talk of Mutally Assured Destruction, a lot of very smart people spent a lot of time and a lot of money figuring out how to "win" a nuclear war, and if an article from Foreign Affairs from a few years ago is any indiciation, the United States once again, as it did in the 1940s, is in a position to alone to be able to win any nuclear war with almost no losses, so long as we struck first, which would mean perhaps a couple dozen Russian ICBMs got off the ground, which our anti-missile system could take care of (this is why the Russians get so mad about it - because it doesn't need to protect against thousands of ICBMs , just a couple dozen, if it is a shield against a second strike). Nuclear War would not destroy the world and there would be a very painful day after,

  10. #10
    Bloodsail Admiral DaDimi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekilrwale View Post
    *snip
    Do you know of a way to find a video of such an occurence on maybe youtube or something along those lines?
    Knowing just what kind of explosions we're capable of atm is kinda scary, but would really like to see one of those explosions.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Baaltheron View Post
    Heh. My first idea of the modern nuke was one super crazy powerful bomb you dropped that destroyed continents. >.>
    All those bombs have been tested before, they are no where near that powerful. The bombs dropped in Japan were only strong enough to destroy an entire city, about 2 miles. I don't how much more powerful these newer bombs are but they shouldn't be near destroying 2 cities at once.

  12. #12
    Bloodsail Admiral bekilrwale's Avatar
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    Don't they use much larger atoms now to create more massive explosions.. like uranium over hydrogen? I know nothing I'm just asking.
    Typed out a long explanation for you then accidentally deleted it>.>. But we actually use really small atoms now. Smaller atoms can undergo fusion, which takes place in the sun, and releases a ridiculous amount of power. However, we detonate fission bombs made of plutonium to allow our fusion bombs to blow up. That is why one nuclear bomb has multiple flashes when watching a video, the subsequent booms are always bigger than the previous booms.
    Do you know of a way to find a video of such an occurence on maybe youtube or something along those lines?
    Knowing just what kind of explosions we're capable of atm is kinda scary, but would really like to see one of those explosions.
    A great movie is "Trinity and Beyond" and it shows you every nuke we have ever detonated that isn't classified. It's a fascinating and awe inspiring watch, I recommend it.

    ---------- Post added 2012-04-04 at 07:33 PM ----------

    All those bombs have been tested before, they are no where near that powerful. The bombs dropped in Japan were only strong enough to destroy an entire city, about 2 miles. I don't how much more powerful these newer bombs are but they shouldn't be near destroying 2 cities at once.
    Actually all our bombs haven't been tested. Even since the test ban treaty we have developed a few more powerful bombs and warheads but were not allowed to test them, not even underground.
    "Death is not kind. It's dark, black as far as you can see, and you're all alone."

  13. #13
    It depends on your standard of "end the world".

    If you mean blow the planet to bits, i dont think we're capable of that (yet). If you mean destroy every single lifeform on earth i reckon it would take more than three.

    But from what posters above me said; if you take three of those multi-nuke rockets, drop one over USA, one over europe/russia, and one over china/asia, i believe you could call the outcome "the end of the world".

  14. #14
    I truly doubt any country would ever try to win a nuclear war. You would effectively have to destroy every other ethnic minority in the world to make sure no one would ever try again to get revenge or aggressively try to defeat a threat. Any country that preemptively launched nuclear weapons on a mass scale to win a war would become a pariah to the rest of the world.

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