Nuclear test films→


Nuclear weapons physicists have an odd role these days. They can’t actually test anything because, you know, one doesn’t just set off a nuclear weapon anymore (and certainly not in space). But if the US decides to launch a nuclear warhead against another country—or the other way around—weapons physicists still have to anticipate the damage. In practice, that means computer simulations. Lots and lots them.

I’ve argued before that the nuclear test ban treaties were a Bad Thing, simple because of what they did to the space program.1

  1. I’ve just never gotten over the fact that nobody can built an Orion-type space vehicle, okay?