Re: poly: Deuterium

From: Perry E. Metzger <>
Date: Mon May 04 1998 - 16:46:05 PDT

"Richard Schroeppel" writes:
> It was my impression that Teller-Ulam required Li6 as well as D.

Lithium_6 Deuteride has distinct advantages, but the first Teller-Ulam
device ever set off held the deuterium in a cryogenic dewar.

Note, btw, that you still require a conventional fission bomb to set
off a Teller-Ulam style thermonuclear, and in general you can usefully
make use of other materials like U238 (which will fission but not
chain react -- this doesn't matter much, though, if you have a big
source of neutrons, like fusing lithium deuteride, nearby to take
advantage of the "waste" neutrons).

None of this is trivial to get one's hands on, but the deuterium is
problably the easiest part.

I have no idea how little in the way of the truly exotic materials one
can get away with -- I'm not a weapons designer, and know of all this
stuff only from the open literature.

> Wrt planetary-expansionism providing protection against civilization
> killers, recall that space-based environments are fragile. A big
> Mars colony might provide redundancy, but L5 is doubtful.

In general, I think we've already developed the technology needed to
destroy all life we know of (that on earth) and it will be a while
before we expand out far enough to counter that.

Received on Mon May 4 23:48:00 1998

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 07 2006 - 14:45:30 PST