Nuclear Edge of Atomic Fire!


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Thread: Nuclear Edge of Atomic Fire!

  1. #1
    Member Rojack79's Avatar
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    Nuclear Edge of Atomic Fire!

    So I've had a question on my mind for some time now. If you have a weapon let's say a sword that can cut through anything it would as Kyle from Because Science puts it be able to cut atoms apart. This would have the awesome effect of making lightning trail your sword through the air as you swing it about. Now for me I was wondering if you could ever set of a nuclear reaction with the blade or would you need more surface area than the edge of a sword would allow?
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

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  2. #2
    Air is not dense enough for a runaway nuclear reaction.
    Even humans are mostly empty space.
    Think of a normal, uncompressed molecule as our solar system.
    That's about how close together the electrons, neutrons, and protons are to one another, proportionally speaking.

    With a nuclear blast, they take extremely dense metal, like Uranium or plutonium, and use shaped charges to compress it until you essentially have dozens of solar systems occupying the same space. Once one splits, because they are so close, it hits another, which splits and hits another, which splits and hits two more...

    So it would be unlikely to happen in uncompressed matter.

  3. #3
    He said it, it is the material you would be cutting that matters. The sub atomic particles from the initial atom exploding are what hit further atoms and cause them to explode and that has to be more atoms each time. Most things won't produce enough particles, or be dense enough for something to get hit by them. Something right up the top end of the scale past uranium will decompose, that is what makes it radioactive, but it needs a bit more to make it go run-away in an explosion, and I am not sure your sword cut would do it, though it would, presumably, be cutting a good few atoms. Not sure I would only want to be a sword length away from stuff like that though, even if it didn't explode.
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  4. #4
    Assuming you're separating the nucleus into distinct units with new, smaller atomic numbers... would you effectively be an alchemist?
    Nitrogen, the most plentiful gas would be most likely to be split and has an atomic number of 7. Would you then create some sort of isotopes of elements 1 thru 6? Presumably they'd be unstable and begin reacting in some way? You could just split electrons, neutrons, and protons and decide how they'd behave after splitting according to their periodic properties.
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  5. #5
    Member Rojack79's Avatar
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    Hmmmm so it has to be a dense enough material hit with a significant amount of force and then that force has to be funneled in such a way as to cause a chain reaction. Ok. That I can work with. Perhaps a nuclear hammer might be better? To the drawing board!
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

    I don't have a big ego. You just can't comprehend my greatness!

  6. #6
    One thing to consider is the waste this sword would leave behind.
    Air is good for you, but when you start ripping it apart it becomes new elements...many of which are NOT good for you.

    So this sword could be creating hazmat every time you swing it.
    At minimum it would make a funny smell. Something like burnt, ionized gas I'd guess.
    You could have your characters think it was the smell of death as the blade passed close to their faces.

  7. #7
    And I don't think a hammer would work.
    Back in the day, one of the original designs for a nuclear bomb was a sort of cannon.
    They would fire 2 dense blocks of fissionable material into each other.
    We built one once, it was called the Little Boy nuclear bomb, exploded over Nagasaki.
    Twas the only one we ever built.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-type_fission_weapon

    So a nuclear hammer, even if wielded by Thor, would be unlikely to work unless he slammed it against another hammer made of fissionable material...and even then, just being within 30 feet of that kind of pure material would be lethal to humans. During the Manhattan project we lost a scientist who was accidentally exposed to a slug of unshielded plutonium. It only took a split second, and we are talking about a small piece of material, and he was dead within 12 hours.

  8. #8
    Interesting side note: That scientist who died from exposure insisted that they document every stage of his death. The NRC still uses that footage, to this day, as training material.

  9. #9
    Member Rojack79's Avatar
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    Well as far as the hammer idea is concerned I'll put that one on the back burner and see if I can't create my own version of the mini-nuke and fatman nuclear catapult from Fallout. The main cast of characters won't have to worry about radiation so there's no real risks involved with with a nuke going off in there face. Plus they have some very sturdy powered armor to boot.
    Last edited by Rojack79; October 10th, 2019 at 04:35 PM.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

    I don't have a big ego. You just can't comprehend my greatness!

  10. #10

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