Fuel Air Bombs, Neutron Bombs,etc.

kcran567

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Aug 15, 2009
Messages
668
Reaction score
22
Would like to know more about Neutron bombs/weapons. Everyone knows a little about Hydrogen/Nuclear/Atomic bombs, but Neutron bombs are less commonly know. As far as the effects of Neutron bombs were they designed from the start to keep infrastructure intact (or is that a myth) is there less radioactive fallout? Do they really tend to leave buildings, structures, and vehicles more or less intact? Are there a stockpile of these weapons available and would a terrorist group or aspiring nation like North Korea and the like be able to develop and use this type of weapon.


The same could be asked about Fuel+Air weapons. Are they useful in a tactical sense and are they considered to be an option just below nuclear? What is the best scenario for their usage? Can anyone give an ideal scenario where this type of bomb would be the best choice? And yield, compared to a small nuke?


Are fuel air bombs more difficult to deliver (must the airspace be controlled....do they have to be air detonated?) or can a nation like North Korea put one on a missile or a barge? would a weapon of mass destruction aspiring nation like North Korea find it easier to try and develop a nuke or EPM type of device instead?


Just wanted to get some facts about Neutron Bombs and Fuel Air Weapons because it seems that there is less known about them. (effects, usefulness, development)
 

tiikki

Why I really should change my personal text?
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
65
Reaction score
3
Website
tiikki.blogspot.com
On subject of neutron bombs I believe that I know something based on just regular university nuclear physics courses.

It consists of radioactive particles created in the nuclear explosion and lifted in the air by the same explosion. The radioactive particles in the fallout are created either directly in the chain reaction or by absorption of the high energy particles created in explosion into other material around the explosion. So the amount and spread of the fallout depends on how much it created and how high it is lifted. Both of these increase with explosive power of the nuclear bomb.
Neutrons are important part of the nuclear explosion physics. For fission and fusion reaction the energy of neutrons is important, it must not be too high or they escape the the explosion and the chain-reaction dies faster. On the other hand the high energy neutrons are effective in ionization of material. This ionization is bad for biological entities as it breaks DNA strands and other chemical structures at least temporarily. For metal structures the atoms are already ionized so it doesn't matter at all for them and for most of the other material extra neutron or ionization doesn't matter at all.
So in the case of neutron bomb the physical structure and material choices are made so that it produces a lot of high energy neutrons, which limits the size of the explosion and thus limits the fallout and physical damage to non-living objects from the explosion. The living organism are effected by the neutron radiation beyond the physical fireball effect.

Personally I believe that neutron bomb is not an attractive option to NK and other rogue states. To produce effective neutron bomb requires a lot of physics and precise understanding of nuclear explosion, it is lot easier to produce regular hydrogen bomb (even producing a fission bomb is huge undertaking). As a dictator I would only begin dreaming about neutron bombs after successful string of hydrogen bomb tests with multiple designs B)
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
11,214
Reaction score
2,746
There is a book by Sam Cohen 'The Father of the Neutron Bomb' out there and if you Google him you get some articles and Youtube interviews. If I recall he talks more politics of the bomb than its' inner workings.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,616
Reaction score
2,806
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
Neutron bombs aren't about fallout, but neutron flux at detonation. They are more-or-less standard H-bombs, but with a difference. The fission trigger is normal. But where the fusion fuel is normally surrounded bya thick radiation case made of somethign like depleted uranium that reflects neutrons back into the fuel to keep the fusion reaction going, the neutron bomb uses a thin-walled case. The result is that the fusion reaction just sorta sputters, but in doing so it releases one hell of a rain of neutrons out into the world, about times times the flux of an equivalent H-bomb. You still get a mighty bang from the fission trigger and some boosting from the fusion component, but nothing like what you'd normally get from an H-bomb with a proper radiation case. The N-bomb converts something like 40% of its yield into neutrons.

The neutron flux from an N-Bomb detonated at an appropriate altitude won't be high enough to cause meaningful activation of the surroundings, thus little in the way of enhanced fallout. But the neutron flux will be more than enough to kill organic critters. Normally, the neutron flux is not an important component in the effort to kill people, since neutrons are readily absorbed by air and the range of them tends to barely exceed - or be well shorter than - the lethal range of the thermal flash or blast. But a small N-bomb can have a lethal neutron range a good deal greater than the range of lethality for the other aspects.

Additionally, N-Bombs make dandy anti-missile warheads. The neutron flux can be high enough to cause incoming warheads to simply melt down in flight, along with trashing their electronics.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,437
Reaction score
3,271
Orionblamblam said:
Additionally, N-Bombs make dandy anti-missile warheads. The neutron flux can be high enough to cause incoming warheads to simply melt down in flight, along with trashing their electronics.

According to Wiki (yeah, I know) the W66 of the Sprint ABM was the first deployed neutron weapon.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,616
Reaction score
2,806
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
I'm pretty sure it was. It intercepted at low altitude (50K ft and below), so it had to have a low-yield warhead or it'd trash the countryside. A neutron bomb would be perfect for that application. With so much of the total energy of the system diverted into neutrons which don't travel well through air, it'd be great for setting off above your own turf.
 

Similar threads

Top