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Name: Austin J.
Status: student
Age: 15
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2001


Question:
What would happen if you detonated a nuclear weapon in space? What kind of range would it have?


Replies:
Hi, Austin !!

Well, by nuclear weapon you mean an atomic bomb based on a fission or fusion process. Our Sun is - in this sense - an atomic bomb, where fusion processes occur ( hydrogen atoms become helium atoms). There is a lost of mass after this reaction, that is converted in energy ( E= mc^2). But, on the other side, its mass is so big that the gravity force keeps the star as a body in space. In the case of a weapon - like you propose - the products will be dispersed all over the universe. The effect would be similar to that observed on the Earth, with some differences when you consider that there is no air in space. Electro- magnetic waves would be liberated with radioactive particles, as well, and the intensity of this effect would decrease with the square of the distance of the explosion.

Alcir Grohmann



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