UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." [more inside]
A Star in a Bottle. "An audacious plan to create a new energy source could save the planet from catastrophe. But time is running out."
Martin Fleischmann, who with Stanley Pons claimed in a press conference to have observed sustained nuclear fusion in a room-temperature experiment, died on August third at age 85. [more inside]
Los Alamos National Laboratory has posted 10 minutes of newly discovered color home movie footage of the scientists of the Manhattan Project, at work and at play, shot by physicist Hugh Bradner. Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrets Blog notes some highlights and adds context.
The year was 1945. Two earthshaking events took place: the successful test at Alamogordo and the building of the first electronic computer. Their combined impact was to modify qualitatively the nature of global interactions between Russia and the West. No less perturbative were the changes wrought in all of academic research and in applied science. On a less grand scale these events brought about a [renaissance] of a mathematical technique known to the old guard as statistical sampling; in its new surroundings and owing to its nature, there was no denying its new name of the Monte Carlo method (PDF). -N. MetropolisConceptually talked about on MeFi previously, some basic Monte Carlo methods include the Inverse Transform Method (PDF) mentioned in the quoted paper, Acceptance-Rejection Sampling (PDFs 1,2), and integration with and without importance sampling (PDF).
The B53 wasn’t just any old megabomb. It was the first bunker buster. U.S. nuclear doctrine called for it to be delivered over suspected underground Soviet command-and-control facilities. The dumb bomb wouldn’t destroy them so much as it would destroy everything remotely near it, leaving — literally — a smoldering crater. That was the U.S. plan for “victory” in a nuclear war right up until the implosion of the Soviet Empire. (related) [more inside]
The Economist is holding an online debate on nuclear power. These debates provide a great opportunity to get an overview of the different perspectives on an issue. If f you are so inclined, you can share your own views on the topic too. Today's discussions focus on a contribution by Amory Lovins.
Lookout Mountain Laboratories (Hollywood, CA) was originally built in 1941 as an air defense station. But after WWII, the US Air Force repurposed it into a secret film studio which operated for 22 years during the Cold War. The studio produced classified movies for all branches of the US Armed Forces, as well as the Atomic Energy Commission, until it was deactivated in 1969. During this time, cameramen, who referred to themselves as "atomic" cinematographers, were hired to shoot footage of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and the South Pacific. Some of their films have been declassified and can be seen here. [more inside]
Over fifty years after Los Angeles' first nuclear meltdown, the State of California is finally getting around to decontaminating the radioactive fallout.
Inspired by a talk by Dr. Robert W. Bussard, Mark Suppes, a web developer by day, has built his own nuclear fusion reactor. [more inside]
Dig out your old Singer sewing machines from the attic and sell them to somebody in Saudi Arabia for a fortune on account of the red mercury they contain. Red mercury allows nuclear bombs to be constructed without the need for plutonium [previously]. Red mercury came originally from Russia. Or from the Nazis. Red mercury was invented to lure terrorists in sting operations. It is a medicine for treating impotency. Red mercury will bring long life. It is cinnabar. It is mercury iodide. It is Lithium 6. It is a Bose Einstein Condensate. It is a ballotechnic mercury compound. It is a codeword. It's a game. It costs $300,000 per kilo.
One of the kings of nuclear proliferation has his own website. No mention of house arrest though.
The day the sky exploded. Ever wondered exactly what happened when the H-bomb hit Hiroshima? So did lots of scientists.. It's not pointless curiosity - these discoveries should help us all in the future. Of course, those in charge had other things in mind at the time. Hiroshima previously well examined here.
You Call That Evidence? Op-Ed from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists about the so-called evidence for the administration's claim that Iraq is "moving very near a nuclear weapon capability." Too bad something that at least seems to be approaching the truth will have nothing to do with whether we go to war or not.
Close to home? Worried about transport of nuclear waste? Find out how close to your home it'll pass with this handy map. In my case, it'll be transported on train tracks that I can see and hear from my bedroom...
Seven minutes to midnight. "Today, the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves the minute hand of the 'Doomsday Clock,' the symbol of nuclear danger, from nine to seven minutes to midnight, the same setting at which the clock debuted 55 years ago. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, this is the third time the hand has moved forward."
Canadians figure out exactly how many nukes it would take. Using the software, researchers estimated it would take 124 weapons to destroy the U.S. and 51 to eliminate Russia as a country. The computer program mimics the U.S. military's SIOP, or Single Integrated Operational Plan, which outlines the targeting of America's nuclear weapons and the likely consequences of each attack. [via dailyrotten.com]