Short term irradiation nuclear weapon

In summary: Nuclear weapon designs that produce radioactive fallout tend to do this by either fissioning a heavy nucleus (such as uranium) to produce neutrons, or by detonating a subcritical mass of a nuclear explosive (such as plutonium) to produce a burst of gamma rays and neutrons.
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Hello all. I am not a physicist and would probably be considered a "physics idiot" by people on this site, so please excuse any ignorance on my part.

I am writing a book and need some help with the physics of nuclear weapons. For the purposes of my book, I am looking to have one of my characters create what I as a layman would call a "short term irradiation nuclear weapon" (please forgive if the verbiage is incorrect).

From my research, i have surmised that this could not be any type of in use weapon, as all appear to have fission as some part of the "equation", and this would create long term irradiation in the affected areas. If anyone out there could give me some guidance, theoretical or factual, as to how this type of weapon might be created it would be very helpful to me for the purposes of my book.

Feel free to be as "theoretical" as you like, The more fantastical the better provided the science actually would work. In short, a weapon which the "desired effects" last for only a few minutes or days, and then cease. Thanks in advance for any help.
 
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  • #2
be082 said:
Hello all. I am not a physicist and would probably be considered a "physics idiot" by people on this site, so please excuse any ignorance on my part.

I am writing a book and need some help with the physics of nuclear weapons. For the purposes of my book, I am looking to have one of my characters create what I as a layman would call a "short term irradiation nuclear weapon" (please forgive if the verbiage is incorrect).

From my research, i have surmised that this could not be any type of in use weapon, as all appear to have fission as some part of the "equation", and this would create long term irradiation in the affected areas. If anyone out there could give me some guidance, theoretical or factual, as to how this type of weapon might be created it would be very helpful to me for the purposes of my book.

Feel free to be as "theoretical" as you like, The more fantastical the better provided the science actually would work. In short, a weapon which the "desired effects" last for only a few minutes or days, and then cease. Thanks in advance for any help.

Just a note to any repliers, I need the science/physics to be real. They moved it to the science fiction section which is ok, but I'm looking for real world physics of these potential types of weapons. Thanks.
 
  • #4
Do you specifically want a nuclear weapon that produces short lived fallout or would a weapon with no fallout be good too? Pure fusion bombs are a hypothetical type of hydrogen bomb that would not produce any fallout:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pure_fusion_weapon
 
  • #5
Dirty ("salted") conventional bombs that just spread radioactive material can lead to radioactivity for a few days or more. Less than a few days would lead to serious production and transportation issues.
 

1. What is short term irradiation nuclear weapon?

Short term irradiation nuclear weapon is a type of nuclear weapon that uses high energy radiation to damage or destroy targets. It is designed to deliver a large amount of radiation in a short period of time, making it different from traditional nuclear weapons that rely on explosive force.

2. How does short term irradiation nuclear weapon work?

Short term irradiation nuclear weapon works by releasing a burst of high energy radiation, such as gamma rays, in a short amount of time. This radiation can damage or destroy electronic systems and biological tissue, making it an effective weapon for disabling or killing targets.

3. What are the potential effects of a short term irradiation nuclear weapon?

The effects of a short term irradiation nuclear weapon can vary depending on the proximity to the explosion and the strength of the radiation. Some potential effects include immediate radiation sickness, long-term health effects, and damage to infrastructure and electronics.

4. Can short term irradiation nuclear weapons be used in warfare?

Short term irradiation nuclear weapons have been researched and developed by various countries for use in warfare. However, their use is highly controversial due to their potential for causing widespread harm and destruction. They are currently banned by international law under the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

5. What are the potential risks of short term irradiation nuclear weapons?

The potential risks of short term irradiation nuclear weapons include the possibility of accidental detonation, misuse by terrorists or rogue states, and the long-term environmental and health consequences of radiation exposure. These risks make the development and use of these weapons a highly debated and contentious issue.

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