Nuclear explosions in space

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Beaconator, Nov 15, 2022.

  1. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

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    A nuclear explosive is set off in space?

    does it consume more space and is therefore larger?

    or is it perhaps less likely even to occur because there is no oxygen?
     
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  3. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

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    You'd get a huge release of energy in the form of electromagnetic waves of various frequencies. You'd get a minimal shock wave produced just by the expanding material from the bomb itself ( no atmosphere to add to and carry this).
    The no oxygen question is just silly. Oxygen is not required for a nuclear device to function, and even conventional chemical explosives contain everything they need within themselves and do not require an external oxygen supply.
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    What does "consume space" mean? More space than what?
    Less likely than what?
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    And I would add - a whole lot of high speed neutrons.
     
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    I learned something today. I honestly would have thought the answer to the question was pretty straightforward, even obvious, that the explosion does not consume space. But you're the scientist and educator, so you would know better if a thermonuclear explosion can destroy spacetime itself, or not, so it's entirely possible I'm wrong. After all, I probably never would have guessed that there were so many ways to destroy space itself that we need a more specific description.

    A fascinating question arises: After the space is destroyed, what happens to the size of the Universe? Does new space occur ex nihilo, or does extant space slip into the dearth, and when does that effect subside, i.e., it would probably be very hard to observe the subsequent effects at the leading edge of creation.
     
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  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Explosions don't consume space, if that's the sense in which that comment was made. I couldn't be sure, so I asked.
    They can't.
     
  10. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

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    Affect a larger area perhaps…

    Does the absence of oxygen affect its visual appearance?
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Yes.

    The cinematic idea of white light suffices; generally speaking, there is nothing to burn, nothing left over. The bright, fire-like fire we see in actual detonation videos on the Earth's surface involve both the burning of oxygen and everything else the heat consumes. A nuclear explosion in space has considerably less matter to destroy; if you're far enough away and have the right diffraction grating, you will actually be able to tell what matter was destroyed in the affected space.
     
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    So you don't know what you meant when you wrote that? Why did you write it?
    Does the absence of oxygen affect what's visual appearance?

    What are you talking about?

    Can't you explain clearly what you mean? Why does it go like this every time, with you?
     
  13. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

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    I know what I meant when I wrote it… I just try to place similar words in when you get confused.

    is there less fire because of the absence of oxygen and is the radius of the explosion different than on Earth?

    oh wait Tiassa answered both questions.
     
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Not really burning. That much energy heats almost everything to incandescence, including the gases around the explosion. New compounds (like nitrogen oxide) form, but that's the opposite of burning - it actually takes energy to do that.
     
  15. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

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    The "fireball" produced by a nuclear explosion on Earth is not due to combustion, but is the surrounding air being heated to incandescence. And the matter isn't "destroyed" per se, but reconfigured by exposure to this much energy.
     
  16. el es Registered Senior Member

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    Long ago and far away, supernovae probably did not destroy spacetime. How could you tell?
     
  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I had a professor ding me half a point on an assignment once because I said "area" when I meant "volume".

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    Colloquially, we use "area" with less-than=mathematical precision. A safer word might be "region".
     
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  18. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

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    You make a fine argument…

    Yet it still stands to reason all the elements of the periodic table placed into a volume would not create a nuclear reaction. We don’t know exactly what it would do. Years after a theory could even be postulated we could not be certain.

    We can not say with certainty that a nuclear explosion in space would have a larger volume because we have not tried it. Theory suggests it would.

    The only thing we can be certain about is; that in the random universe everything that could happen will.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2022
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    You have given no reasons, despite making silly claims about bringing all elements together at regular intervals on this forum.
     
  20. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    It would if there was a critical mass.
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Well, there would have to be a critical (and relatively pure) mass of the right isotope. You can't just mix everything and get a critical mass.
     
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  22. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

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    Actually I have outlined several different ways to accomplish such a feat or something similar to the idea.

    anything close to what I propose already exists in space. Yet since we are here on Earth The idea may undergo changes differently compared to one put together in space.

    How does a clump of impurities even come to exist?
     
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    In space? Gravity.
     

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