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(io9)   Red mercury was created to serve as a) stealth technology for nuclear bombs, b) missile guidance system, c) fictive substance invented by law enforcement agencies so they could catch potential terrorists trying to acquire the wonder material   (io9.com) divider line 31
    More: Interesting, stealth technology, red mercury, missile guidance, chemicals  
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3303 clicks; posted to Geek » on 29 Jan 2014 at 8:33 PM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



31 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-29 08:42:56 PM
TL,DR: Red mercury might exist, it might not exist, it might be one of the things in the list above, it might not be, but we're gonna write a whole story about how we don't have any idea what it is or isn't.
 
2014-01-29 08:49:32 PM

Mikey1969: TL,DR: Red mercury might exist, it might not exist, it might be one of the things in the list above, it might not be, but we're gonna write a whole story about how we don't have any idea what it is or isn't.


I sound like you're a blast at parties.
 
2014-01-29 08:50:41 PM
I thought it was originally invented as a MacGuffin and later picked up as a useful, completely likely-sounding trap by legal authorities.

It's like Ice Nine: it could exist, but not really.
 
2014-01-29 08:51:03 PM

drumhellar: Mikey1969: TL,DR: Red mercury might exist, it might not exist, it might be one of the things in the list above, it might not be, but we're gonna write a whole story about how we don't have any idea what it is or isn't.

I sound like you're a blast at parties.


Oh for fark's sake. Never mind.
 
2014-01-29 08:51:40 PM
Not as dangerous as red matter

static2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-01-29 08:54:35 PM

drumhellar: drumhellar: Mikey1969: TL,DR: Red mercury might exist, it might not exist, it might be one of the things in the list above, it might not be, but we're gonna write a whole story about how we don't have any idea what it is or isn't.

I sound like you're a blast at parties.

Oh for fark's sake. Never mind.


LOL, love typos like that one... And I still stand by my assertion, that story was a whole lot of lame.
 
2014-01-29 08:55:38 PM

drumhellar: I sound like you're a blast at parties.


They know you are but who am when?
 
2014-01-29 08:59:30 PM
I could see people getting "red mercury" confused with red fulminating mercury, which is real, and nice and explody.  But has nothing to do with nukes.
 
2014-01-29 09:10:49 PM
I've power watched Wooster & Jeeves, and this sounds like something from one of their little plots.
 
2014-01-29 09:11:05 PM
Red mercury was invented by military adventure novelists writing about suitcase nukes, which aren't even possible.
 
2014-01-29 09:15:07 PM
So they're catching the morons who are trying to build nuclear bombs. Gee. I feel so much safer knowing that people who had no chance of ever constructing working nukes will now have no chance to construct working nukes. I bet it only cost several billion dollars to set it up. What a deal. Good thing there aren't nuclear powers like russia and pakistan who could just sell working nukes to people smart enough to buy them instead of trying to build their own from scratch.
 
2014-01-29 09:38:36 PM

macdaddy357: Red mercury was invented by military adventure novelists writing about suitcase nukes, which aren't even possible.


If you think suitcase nukes aren't possible you should read this.  It takes very little Plutonium to build a low yield bomb.  It's simply a matter of having enough for a critical mass, which is as little as 10 pounds or so, separated by something that absorbs neutrons.  Then all you need to do is remove the neutron absorber and shove the Plutonium together quickly.

Pretty sure your average engineering grad student (who didn't mind dying horribly from radiation poisoning) could whip up a suitcase nuke over a weekend if given access to the materials needed.
 
2014-01-29 09:45:04 PM

untaken_name: So they're catching the morons who are trying to build nuclear bombs. Gee. I feel so much safer knowing that people who had no chance of ever constructing working nukes will now have no chance to construct working nukes. I bet it only cost several billion dollars to set it up. What a deal. Good thing there aren't nuclear powers like russia and pakistan who could just sell working nukes to people smart enough to buy them instead of trying to build their own from scratch.


They should focus on catching morons who are trying to build regular bombs but would have no chance of ever constructing one without FBI help.
 
2014-01-29 09:47:25 PM

macdaddy357: Red mercury was invented by military adventure novelists writing about suitcase nukes, which aren't even possible.


It's not exactly a suitcase, but close enough for most purposes...
i.imgur.com
 
2014-01-29 09:49:28 PM
red mercury...i'll have to check, there is a lot of stuff in my garage...back in a while...
 
2014-01-29 10:09:04 PM
Good yarn at one of the links in the comments...

http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/07/a-tall-tail
 
2014-01-29 10:35:27 PM
Were the terrorists gonna cruise up and down these roads?
 
2014-01-29 10:40:39 PM
Red Mercury caused Chernobyl

http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/07/a-tall-tail

/Not really, but still a good read
 
2014-01-29 11:53:23 PM
I didn't think that existed outside of novels.
 
2014-01-30 12:11:15 AM
Did that article have a point? Normally, an article asks a question and then answers it (with 'no'). This one didn't even go that far. It asked a question and then stopped.
 
2014-01-30 01:34:13 AM
Red Mercury... Brought to you by the same people who gave us Blue Meth.

/fiction writers
 
2014-01-30 02:40:04 AM
www.byrnerobotics.com
 
2014-01-30 07:17:21 AM
I recall having read numerous stories about how belief in the mythical "Red Mercury" is a very common in the Middle East. Of course it is also tied into multiple conspiracy theories involving the U.S.
and Israel.
 
2014-01-30 09:01:35 AM
WTF?!  Red mercury doesn't exist?!

That's why I can't get hold of it.

That bloke I had a meeting with in the diner swore to me that he could get me some for a cheap, cheap price. He even said that he could help me build my device...
 
2014-01-30 09:10:30 AM

Riche: Not as dangerous as red matter

[static2.wikia.nocookie.net image 608x597]


The plot holes in that movie were ridiculous.
 
2014-01-30 09:43:32 AM
All the while I was thinking of this:
imganuncios.mitula.net
After all, it has suicide doors...
 
2014-01-30 10:10:54 AM
I quit reading after she said that in the 1970's nuclear weapons required two explosions, one that used fissionable material and that slammed two masses of fusion material together. If you're gonna blog about physics get your farking physics right. 

Traditional nuclear bombs use two explosions the first using conventional high explosives to bring fissionable material to a critical mass either by slamming two small masses together or crushing a hollow sphere onto a core of polonium/beryllium and boom a fission explosion occurs.  There may be other designs but none that I know of use only fissionable material to set off fusionable material. They all start with traditional explosives.

Thermonuclear bombs use the above process of conventional explosives causing a fission explosion to squeeze a fusionable material like tritium (an isotope of hydrogen hence the term H-bomb) to a point at which it fuses to release tremendous amounts of energy. So this is really 3 explosions and is the only one that uses a fusion fuel.
 
2014-01-30 11:01:47 AM

Thinyser: Thermonuclear bombs use the above process of conventional explosives causing a fission explosion to squeeze a fusionable material like tritium (an isotope of hydrogen hence the term H-bomb) to a point at which it fuses to release tremendous amounts of energy. So this is really 3 explosions and is the only one that uses a fusion fuel.


To be fair, the conventional explosives are really just a rounding error when you're talking about kilotons of fission energy triggering megatons of fusion. Some designs also put a bit of tritium into the fission stage to boost the yield by producing more neutrons.
 
2014-01-30 02:47:47 PM

Ivo Shandor: Thinyser: Thermonuclear bombs use the above process of conventional explosives causing a fission explosion to squeeze a fusionable material like tritium (an isotope of hydrogen hence the term H-bomb) to a point at which it fuses to release tremendous amounts of energy. So this is really 3 explosions and is the only one that uses a fusion fuel.

To be fair, the conventional explosives are really just a rounding error when you're talking about kilotons of fission energy triggering megatons of fusion. Some designs also put a bit of tritium into the fission stage to boost the yield by producing more neutrons.


What she also misstated was the contribution played by the fusion explosion to the overall yield of the weapon. The majority of the yield isn't the fusion explosion. It's the fusion explosion's effect on the remaining fissile mass (the initial fission explosion has poor efficiency( that produces most of the boom.
 
2014-01-30 03:18:44 PM
Red mercury was invented so authors could publicly display their lack of knowledge of the difference between a fission bomb and a fusion bomb.
 
2014-01-30 05:19:53 PM
 
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