HOW TO BUILD AN ATOM BOMB
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 98 12:42:02 -0800
Subject: HOW TO BUILD AN ATOM BOMB
Forwarded-by: Matthew Kleinosky <email@example.com>
HOW TO BUILD AN ATOM BOMB
Worldwide controversy has been generated recently from several court
decisions in the United States which have restricted popular magazines from
printing articles which describe how to make an atomic bomb. The reason
usually given by the courts is that national security would be compromised
if such information were generally available. But, since it is commonly
known that all of the information is publicly available in most major
metropolitan libraries, obviously the court's officially stated position is
covering up a more important factor; namely, that such atomic devices would
prove too difficult for the average citizen to construct. The United States
courts cannot afford to insult the vast majorities by insinuating that they
do not have the intelligence of a cabbage, and thus the "official" press
releases claim national security as a blanket restriction.
The rumors that have unfortunately occurred as a result of widespread
misinformation can (and must) be cleared up now, for the construction
project this month is the construction of a thermonuclear device, which will
hopefully clear up any misconceptions you might have about such a project.
We will see how easy it is to make a device of your very own in ten easy
steps, to have and hold as you see fit, without annoying interference from
the government or the courts. The project will cost between $5,000 and
$30,000, depending on how fancy you want the final product to be. Since last
week's column, "Let's Make a Time Machine," was received so well in the new
step-by-step format, this month's column will follow the same format.
1.First, obtain about 50 pounds (110 kg) of weapons grade Plutonium at your
local supplier (see NOTE 1). A nuclear power plant is not recommended, as
large quantities of missing Plutonium tends to make plant engineers unhappy.
We suggest that you contact your local terrorist organization, or perhaps
the Junior Achievement in your neighborhood.
2.Please remember that Plutonium, especially pure, refined Plutonium, is
somewhat dangerous. Wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling
the material, and don't allow your children or pets to play in it or eat
it. Any left over Plutonium dust is excellent as an insect repellant. You
may wish to keep the substance in a lead box if you can find one in your
local junk yard, but an old coffee can will do nicely.
3.Fashion together a metal enclosure to house the device. Most common
varieties of sheet metal can be bent to disguise this enclosure as, for
example, a briefcase, a lunch pail, or a Buick. Do not use tinfoil.
4.Arrange the Plutonium into two hemispheral shapes, separated by about 4
cm. Use rubber cement to hold the Plutonium dust together.
5.Now get about 100 pounds (220 kg) of trinitrotoluene (TNT). Gelignite is
much better, but messier to work with. Your helpful hardware man will be
happy to provide you with this item.
6.Pack the TNT around the hemisphere arrangement constructed in step 4. If
you cannot find Gelignite, feel free to use TNT packed in with Playdo or
any modeling clay. Colored clay is acceptable, but there is no need to get
fancy at this point.
7.Enclose the structure from step 6 into the enclosure made in step 3. Use
a strong glue such as "Crazy Glue" to bind the hemisphere arrangement
against the enclosure to prevent accidental detonation which might result
from vibration or mishandling.
8.To detonate the device, obtain a radio controlled (RC) servo mechanism,
as found in RC model airplanes and cars. With a modicum of effort, a remote
plunger can be made that will strike a detonator cap to effect a small
explosion. These detonator caps can be found in the electrical supply
section of your local supermarket. We recommend the "Blast-O-Matic" brand
because they are no deposit-no return.
9.Now hide the completed device from the neighbors and children. The garage
is not recommended because of high humidity and the extreme range of
temperatures experienced there. Nuclear devices have been known to
spontaneously detonate in these unstable conditions. The hall closet or
under the kitchen sink will be perfectly suitable.
10.Now you are the proud owner of a working thermonuclear device! It is a
great ice-breaker at parties, and in a pinch, can be used for national
3.THEORY OF OPERATION
The device basically works when the detonated TNT compresses the Plutonium
into a critical mass. The critical mass then produces a nuclear chain
recation similar to the domino chain reaction (discussed in this column,
"Dominos on the March," March, 1968). The chain reaction then promptly
produces a big thermonuclear reaction. And there you have it, a 10 megaton
4.NEXT MONTH'S COLUMN
In next month's column, we will learn how to clone your neighbor's wife in
six easy steps. This project promises to be an exciting weekend full of fun
and profit. Common kitchen utensils will be all you need. See you next
1. Plutonium (PU), atomic number 94, is a radioactive metallic element
formed by the decay of Neptunium and is similar in chemical structure to
Uranium, Saturium, Jupiternium, and Marisum.
6.PREVIOUS MONTH'S COLUMNS
1.Let's Make Test Tube Babies! May, 1979
2.Let's Make a Solar System! June, 1979
3.Let's Make an Economic Recession! July, 1979
4.Let's Make an Anti-Gravity Machine! August, 1979
5.Let's Make Contact with an Alien Race! September, 1979
© 1998 Peter Langston