Thermodynamics/bombs.

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hello...This is a two part question. The RDS-220 hydrogen bomb is the most powerful nuclear bomb ever created by man. The Geographic Center of the United States (contiguous 48) is located about two miles northwest of Lebanon, Kansas.  If we were to hook up five of those bombs and set them up to detonate all at the same time, would people on opposite coasts such as people in California or Oregon or in Connecticut or New jersey feel the explosion? Second part.  If If we were to hook up ten of those bombs and placed them half way between the earth and moon and detonated them what, if any, repercussions would their be? I know, weird questions but I was just wondering.  Thanks for your time.  Paul

Answer
Hi Paul,

Its very difficult to estimate what simultaneous detonation of nuclear devices would achieve.
Millitary thinking has always been, with conventional and nuclear bombs, to spread them out to cause more damage over a wider area. It would be very wrong just to add them together.

The RDS 220 was about 50 mega tons or 50 million tons of TNT. The blast would be felt up to about 500 miles away. Atmospheric lens effects would cause random places many more hundreds of miles away to suffer broken windows etc.. Seismically it would be detected all over the world. The fire ball (zone of total atomization) is 5 miles in diamater.

Detonating bombs of this size in a vacuum (no shock wave) 125,000 miles from the moon or the earth would cause a radiation flash (EMP) that woul disturb radio and other communications but little else.

Please dont try this at home!

I hope this helps.
Best wishes
Kevin  

Thermodynamics

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Kevin

Expertise

Thermodynamics, chemistry, chemical reactions, kinetics, chemical reaction safety, dust explosion technology, static electricity. General science.

Experience

Over 40 years experience as a practicing thermochemist in industry. Head of the fire and explosion laboratory of a major European chemical company (Ciba-Geigy). Now retired.

Organizations
Institute of Chemical Engineers. Royal Society of Chemistry.

Education/Credentials
Chartered Chemist, Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (C.Chem MRSC). Msc Sheffield.

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