"Laser blasters."

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zmatt
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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby zmatt » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:47 pm UTC

so any black hole with a mass smaller than the moon would have a disproportionately large explosion.
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Soralin
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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby Soralin » Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:16 am UTC

Technical Ben wrote:Or even better, make it out of a black dwarf also known as degenerate matter.
[edit]
Although I might be wrong. I thought it would be denser than a white dwarf.

Yeah, degeneracy pressure is apparently relatively independent of temperature, so there wouldn't be much of a change as it cooled. One awesome side-effect of that principle, is what happens if you keep adding mass to a white dwarf: :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_1a_supernova
Once fusion has begun, the temperature of the white dwarf starts to rise. A main sequence star supported by thermal pressure would expand and cool in order to counter-balance an increase in thermal energy. However, degeneracy pressure is independent of temperature; the white dwarf is unable to regulate the burning process in the manner of normal stars, and is vulnerable to a runaway fusion reaction. The flame accelerates dramatically, in part due to the Rayleigh–Taylor instability and interactions with turbulence. It is still a matter of considerable debate whether this flame transforms into a supersonic detonation from a subsonic deflagration.[12][15]

Regardless of the exact details of nuclear burning, it is generally accepted that a substantial fraction of the carbon and oxygen in the white dwarf is burned into heavier elements within a period of only a few seconds,[14] raising the internal temperature to billions of degrees. This energy release from thermonuclear burning (1–2×1044 J[4]) is more than enough to unbind the star; that is, the individual particles making up the white dwarf gain enough kinetic energy that they are all able to fly apart from each other. The star explodes violently and releases a shock wave in which matter is typically ejected at speeds on the order of 5000–20,000 km/s, or roughly up to 6% of the speed of light. The energy released in the explosion also causes an extreme increase in luminosity. The typical visual absolute magnitude of Type Ia supernovae is Mv = −19.3 (about 5 billion times brighter than the Sun), with little variation.[12]


Edit: Also, with black holes, they don't quite match up with a lot of the descriptions here. A black hole will radiate energy dependent on it's current mass, feeding one matter equal to what it's spewing out will just maintain it's size and energy output. And If you intended to make it larger until it's energy output is relatively small, the numbers don't quite match up to what you'd want for a bomb (or a power source for a hand held gun). From another thread that had come up on this subject, a 10 billion kg black hole will be radiating about 3.5TW (a common nuclear fission reactor for a commercial power plant might put out on the order of 0.001 TW or so), and it would take about 420,000 years to evaporate, slowly (at least at first) increasing in power as it lost mass due to it's energy output. Something that would evaporate after a day, would not be something that you could hide, and would be quite destructive just existing anywhere near Earth, even without it's energy output increasing from that point.

blademan9999
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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby blademan9999 » Sun May 08, 2011 5:08 am UTC

idobox wrote:If you keep your black hole in mass equilibrium, it will output exactly as much energy as you input mass. In that regard, it is a generator that runs on whatever trash you can get it to eat.
If you stop feeding it, it will explode, a bit like what happens to a nuclear power plant when you remove the water and neutron moderators.


I think you mean a hollywood reactor there, real reactors don't do that that easily
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idobox
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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby idobox » Sun May 08, 2011 9:46 am UTC

I don't think it ever happened for a nuclear reactor to have its coolant and control bars removed. Since it would then be much over critical mass, it would behave like a low efficiency nuclear bomb (nothing to contain the fuel, so it disperses quickly)
But I believe uncontrolled reaction occured in Chernobyl.
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blademan9999
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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby blademan9999 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:56 pm UTC

It would be much better without the black holes.
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Glass Fractal
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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby Glass Fractal » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:21 pm UTC

idobox wrote:I don't think it ever happened for a nuclear reactor to have its coolant and control bars removed. Since it would then be much over critical mass, it would behave like a low efficiency nuclear bomb (nothing to contain the fuel, so it disperses quickly)
But I believe uncontrolled reaction occured in Chernobyl.


No, even with all the safeties removed a nuclear reactor is nothing like a nuclear bomb, even Chernobyl wasn't. Reactor fuel is 95% U-238 which has no critical mass, it isn't fissile,

All nuclear accidents where something exploded have simply been water or another coolant flashing into steam because reactor became so incredibly hot.

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WarDaft
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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby WarDaft » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:03 am UTC

You know, I bet one of these days there will be a movie where there's a fusion reactor 'going critical' and about to explode.

Oh wait, there already was.
Another thing that bothers me is the idea of anti-matter being a perfect explosive. Yes, matter and anti-mater react violently on contact. But the macroscopic world tends to overemphasize the amount of matter actually involved in direct contact. A kilogram brick of anti-matter exposed to air would evaporate rather slowly - first, because a kilogram of air is actually pretty big, and second, shouldn't the reaction would pressure outwards from the brick, actually slowing things down? Even if you put the brick on the table, it wouldn't explode violently. It would eventually burn it's way through the table on a time-scale I can't accurately predict, but it won't detonate... it'll float around on a cushion of micro-explosions. Actually it would be pretty awesome.



A naked singularity gun might have potential. It would effectively have a caliber of 0, but I'm sure we could hand-wave up some other destructive properties.
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idobox
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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby idobox » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:26 am UTC

WarDaft wrote: A kilogram brick of anti-matter exposed to air would evaporate rather slowly

1 cubic meter of air weighs a little bit more than 1kg.
Also, with only 1mg of matter reacted, you would already have released 1.8e11J, more than enough to blow up the brick, increasing the rate of reaction. Of course, air would also be blown up, but not as fast, and the antimatter would end up hitting the ground and walls pretty quickly.
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Tryss
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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby Tryss » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:09 am UTC

Also, with only 1mg of matter reacted, you would already have released 1.8e11J, more than enough to blow up the brick, increasing the rate of reaction.

Just for comparaison, 1.8e11J the energy released by the explosion of 43 kiloton of TNT, and the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima was only 15 kiloton of TNT, 3 times less...

So I really doubt that a brick of antimatter would "float around on a cushion of micro-explosions" :mrgreen:

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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby Soralin » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:30 am UTC

Tryss wrote:
Also, with only 1mg of matter reacted, you would already have released 1.8e11J, more than enough to blow up the brick, increasing the rate of reaction.

Just for comparaison, 1.8e11J the energy released by the explosion of 43 kiloton of TNT, and the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima was only 15 kiloton of TNT, 3 times less...

So I really doubt that a brick of antimatter would "float around on a cushion of micro-explosions" :mrgreen:

Actually, that's 43 tons, not kilotons. 1 gram antimatter annihilating with 1 gram of matter, would be 43kt (and 1.8*1014 J), 1 milligram would be just 43 tons. Although the equivalent of 43 tons of TNT is still quite a bit of energy. :)

And yeah, if you had it in air, then ignoring the energy produced, it would sort of act as a vacuum, with air rushing in towards it, since any air that collided with it would be annihilated. With the energy produced taken into consideration, that energy could blow away nearby air molecules to prevent them from coming in contact. But I'm guessing that that effect would only reach an equilibrium at quite a high energy output, since it would have to be sufficient energy to sustain a continuous vacuum or very low air pressure area around it simply by the energy released. Also, your antimatter brick may not be structurally invincible, if it were heated too much, it might melt or vaporize, or where matter came into contact, it might make small craters, blasting out quantities of antimatter. These structural properties would depend on what the anti-matter is too, I mean, have you managed to perfect anti-matter fusion to make a big block of anti-matter iron, or are we talking about something like white flake, frozen anti-hydrogen?

It is a problem if you want to use anti-matter projectiles against a spaceship or something like that, since just a small amount of the projectile will react, before the explosion blasts back the rest of it off into space. But in a matter-rich environment like the surface of a planet with an atmosphere, I don't think it will end up quite as peaceful as you might think. :)

Tryss
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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby Tryss » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:13 pm UTC

Actually, that's 43 tons, not kilotons. 1 gram antimatter annihilating with 1 gram of matter, would be 43kt (and 1.8*1014 J), 1 milligram would be just 43 tons. Although the equivalent of 43 tons of TNT is still quite a bit of energy. :)


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Cobramaster
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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby Cobramaster » Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:47 am UTC

See in the semi-soft scif-fi of John Ringo's Legacy of Aldenata series, antimatter is used in weapons in two primary forms, first as a propellent much like gunpowder is used today, except to give the main acceleration to rapid fire railguns. In that case it is a captured "drop" of antimatter on the base of the projectile, the second form is the much showier and possibly more fun anti-matter cluster bombs that rain lots of little nuclear blasts. Of course there are a few anti-matter generators powering Laser platforms but they are far fewer and further between.
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Soralin
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Re: "Laser blasters."

Postby Soralin » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:18 am UTC

Cobramaster wrote:See in the semi-soft scif-fi of John Ringo's Legacy of Aldenata series, antimatter is used in weapons in two primary forms, first as a propellent much like gunpowder is used today, except to give the main acceleration to rapid fire railguns. In that case it is a captured "drop" of antimatter on the base of the projectile, the second form is the much showier and possibly more fun anti-matter cluster bombs that rain lots of little nuclear blasts. Of course there are a few anti-matter generators powering Laser platforms but they are far fewer and further between.

If you can miniaturize the containment enough, you can have even more fun, like a handgun that can fire bullets that can blow up large buildings, or take out a city block, or a battleship or such. :)


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