George Orwell’s 1984 is sometimes described as his essay Politics and the English Language rewritten as a novel. While 1984 certainly extrapolates themes discussed in Politics, most of the world-building for 1984 comes from a different Orwell essay. You and the Atomic Bomb was published in October 1945, just two months after the Japanese surrender. In it Orwell considers whether the atomic bomb is […]Read more "George Orwell and the Weapons of Democracy"
If you follow defense news you probably noticed that there was an important successful test of the long-awaited midcourse-intercept exoatmospheric kill vehicle. The EKV was the payload of a Boeing designed Ground Based Interceptor launched from Vandenberg AFB in California. After being accelerated to tremendous speeds to the edge of space, the EKV intercepted an inert […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: It Came from Kwajalein"
When Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn began their research project that led to the discovery of nuclear fission they weren’t trying to discover nuclear fission. The were instead trying to perform a sort of alchemy, the transmutation of one element into another. Radioactive decay was already understood by then as a type of spontaneous natural […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: The Antacid of Alchemy"
Earlier this week I watched a video from Sandia Laboratories that gives some historical context for the current tensions between the United States and North Korea. While the leadership of neither nation inspires much confidence, it is likely that this current phase of what has been an ongoing crisis will lead to a stable and […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: The Learning Curve"
Well, my promised post on the history of Soviet cruise missile development is not quite ready yet, at least unless you want another 3000+ word hastily written info dump like last week. Missile history can wait a week. Instead The Board will just have a few comments on the news and a cool movie for […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: D.O.E. Movie Night"
If you asked a bunch of people to write down an equation associated with nuclear physics, those who could write anything at all would most likely write down E=mc2 Einstein’s most famous equation. You’d get different results if you asked at a university physics department, and I’d probably write down a beta decay reaction But […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: Lise Meitner and The Meme Equation"
You probably don’t remember when you learned that the atom has a nucleus. You saw so many depictions of the atom with its compact nucleus that it seems like nothing special. It’s kid stuff, Right? They teach about it in elementary school. How hard could it be? But the discovery of the nucleus was unexpected, […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: The Nucleus is New"