Thursday, August 25, 2005

How to Stop Worrying...

Ever been walking along somewhere, when suddenly you wonder, "If the bomb went off now, would I be vaporized instantly, or would I be one of the unlucky ones? Could I 'duck and cover' and be okay?"

Well, wonder no more! This site has come to your rescue!

Now you can know your minimum safe distance from, e.g., a 50 Megaton thermonuclear detonation. In my case, if we assume the Capitol building as Ground Zero, then out here in Reston, VA, I'm just outside the "widespread destruction" radius, but well within the "3rd degree burns" radius. Uh oh.

Or, just for fun, plug in the historical values for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki fission blasts (a quaint 0.15 and 0.22 Mtons, respectively).

You'll gain a new appreciation of Seizo Yamada's picture of the Hiroshima mushroom cloud, taken at about 7 km.

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Japan/Hirgrnd.jpg
Or, perhaps even better, this shot of the "Buster Dog" troop test in Nevada, 1951. These guys are roughly 13 km away.


http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Bjdog5.jpg


"What seems to be the trouble, soldier? You look a little bit worried."

2 comments:

Jim Lippard said...

This reminds me of the Department of Homeland Security's disaster preparedness explanations, with universal logos easily interpreted without the need to understand any particular language:
http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=46223

Einzige said...

Yikes, I just realized that my Mtonnages for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts were off by an order of magnitude--which is actually quite hard for me to believe.

Were those horrifically destructive blasts really only 0.017 and 0.022 Mtons??? It boggles the mind.