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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    Explosive enigma

    Again, a query rather than a puzzle, but ... I've never been able to find out anything about the effect shown below, that accompanies a nuclear explosion. Anybody know?

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    5 Star Lounger Ruff_Hi's Avatar
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    Re: Explosive enigma

    Anyone that swims around queensland can quickly identify those as tendrils from jelly fish - ones that obviously came over to have a look at the jelly fish like clouds.
    (Location Australia, then UK, but now USA. Heart, outlook, attitude, etc always Australian)
    Quote: "All Happiness is the release of internal pressure"

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    4 Star Lounger SteveH's Avatar
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    Re: Explosive enigma

    I believe they are smoke rockets.
    Steve H
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    Re: Explosive enigma

    I agree with SteveH. I saw a TV programme the other day and it appears that during the initial explosion a series of rockets are sent up with smoke trails. I imagine they do this so they can take measurements of the cloud and shock waves that are produced.

    Not being an expert, I may stand corrected for their use.

    Jerry
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    Re: Explosive enigma


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    Re: Explosive enigma

    Thanks Steve*. Mystery solved.

    Alan

    * Also thanks to Jezza and Tony. Alas, and with considerable incredulity Timbo, your answer proved to be incorrect.

    This actually reminds me of something that does belong in the puzzles forum, and is somewhat related to the answer to this one:

    After the Hiroshima bomb, the U.S. DoD published a series of timed photos of the explosion, obviously at various time intervals after detonation. The big question of the day was "How powerful is such a bomb?" Most people in the Manhattan Project didn't even know the answer to that one; layfolk could only take wild guesses at its "energy release". But an astute armchair observer managed to figure it out, essentially from those published photographs. Can you replicate the steps he might have taken to achieve this revelation?

    Hint: He was no explosives expert, but he was proficient at scientific analysis.

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    Re: Explosive enigma

    OK Steve,

    As an avid armchair user I will now become a scientist.

    I have no knowledge of Uranium but I reckon 40 years ago it was rather difficult to make it, using large amounts of energy to produce it from ore.

    I will have a wild guess and say if I need to use X amount of energy to produce Y amount of Uranium then the power it explodes at and expels is X.

    Am I on the right lines ( or smoke trails)?

    Jerry
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    Re: Explosive enigma

    I think you got off to a bad start Jezza - posting to me and talking to Steve <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>.

    But yep <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>, you're following the wrong (smoke) trail there. Although it takes a lot of energy to produce weapons grade uranium from ore, this is expended in physical and chemical processing (and would be essentially unrecoverable I'd think). The energy of the explosion is (naturally) locked away in the uranium (or whatever) at a nuclear level, and the explosion is its release in an "unnatural" catastrophic manner.

    But the guy who figured it out had no knowledge of nuclear materials either - just the photos in the magazine and other "public" knowledge resources... and of course, a good head for solving puzzles. I dare say he'd have done well on this board!

    Alan

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    Re: Explosive enigma

    Maybe it's time for a hint, for anyone interested in a shot at it.

    The person who solved it had at his disposal, the photos from the magazine, and was also able to obtain "equivalent" time delay photos of conventional explosions. The energy release of these latter-type photo series were known quantities.

    Alan

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    Re: Explosive enigma

    Ok Steve.....I mean Alan <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    I'll have another stab at it using your clue.

    Watching film shots of various war footage, you can normally see a compression wave or shock wave being produced, this normally fires off ahead of the main"cloud" of the explosion. This shockwave will dissipate at a certain radius, therefore if you know the power of a know bomb would this proportionate to the size of the shock wave and/the speed of the shockwave...

    Am I getting any closer?

    Jerry
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    Re: Explosive enigma

    Jezza

    Yes, you're getting very warm there. But his next step was to determine exactly how to use the known or measurable data to determine the unknown quantity. Remember, he had no expertise in explosives/ explosions, but was obviously pretty good at analysing "unknown" phenomena.

    Alan

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    Re: Explosive enigma

    Ok

    I have no knowledge of explosives but I will have a go. I will make some assumptions:

    1) The explosive percussion go both horizontally and vertically (for the moment)
    2) Therefore volume of a hemisphere is 2/3 r 3 (two thirds x radius cubed)

    If a certain known explosive charge generates a percussion zone of the volume of the hemisphere in a certain time you should be able to ascertain the force produced.

    Taking the unknown explosive charge this will create a percussion zone and again in a certain time.

    I would say dividing the two answers together would produce a ratio of force....

    In a nutshell, it is the ratio of the known percussion zone volume/time to expand: unknown percussion zone/time to expand

    Jerry
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    Re: Explosive enigma

    That's just about right on for the overall method he used i.e. using ratios of the known and unknown quantities. But the "simple" volume-time dependence (linear) you've implied is not correct. Again, this guy was able to establish what that was, without knowledge of explosive phenomena. Your approach is good, but holler any time you want to give up <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>... because it does get harder.

    Alan

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    Re: Explosive enigma

    I would let it run a bit and I will keep a watch on it.. If there are no more takers, I will give you a shout

    Jerry
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    Re: Explosive enigma

    OK, No takers, I am Hollering

    Jerry
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