# theoretical micro-nuke

Suppose we have a soda can full of deutereum and tritium, surrounding a fictional containment device approx icubic centimeter, holding a miligram of antimatter.

Also suppose we allow the antimatter to explode…will this impetus cause fusion in the heavy hydrogen, creating a miniature H-bomb explosion?

That milligram of antimatter would produce a far bigger bang than the hydrogen fusing.

I don’t know if that milligram would be sufficient to initiate fusion but it will give you a bang seemingly out of proportion to its miniscule size. IIRC it would take about one gram of antimatter to orbit the space shuttle.

Antimatter is STRONG stuff! Too bad we can’t mass produce it. Would solve a lot of energy problems. Then again, antimatter bombs would be even more frightening than nuclear bombs.

A soda can containing antimatter!? And to think I’ve been worried about mixing Pepsi with Pop Rocks candy!

Does this mean that Mikey ate some Pop-Rocks & antimatter & was blown into orbit?

Anyone want to answer the OP in language that I can understand? So, can you make a bomb about the size of a soda can that would level a city? Why or why not? What are the limitations on nuclear weapon requirements?

-Tcat

If the milligram is too big, how about a microgram?

Hell, lets just inject a single anti-atom into the deuterium/tritium. Would that be enough?

Maybe? Although it seems more likely that most of the Hydrogen would just be dispersed VERY rapidly (aside from that one milligram and a few other atoms nearby). Half the trouble with nukes is trying to keep the fuel close enough during/after the start of the explosion to do its thing.

As you said yourself about the containment device, it’s fictional. Such a device could not be made that size. However, if it did exist…

Hydrogen bombs and other fusion devices, theoretical and real, work based on their geometry. Some effect causes matter to become massively compressed, triggering fusion, which releases energy. This can either be absorbed, yielding heat which can be converted into electricity, or released, giving a bomb.

In prospective fusion reactors, flowing plasma in a strong magnetic field compresses itself. In a hydrogen bomb a traditional thermonuclear is exploded around hydrogen isotopes, compressing them and triggering fusion.

Here, you would get some fusion, but the hydrogen isotopes you’ve included are pretty irrelevant. As matter makes contact with the surface or your nugget of antimatter, massive amounts of energy are released as one annihilates the other. This compresses the antimatter itself. With enough (and a milligram easily would be), that is what gets fused. However, the energy released by fusion is likely to be quite insignifcant compared to that from the annihilation.

A search on Google found http://www.angelfire.com/on2/daviddarling/antimatterprop.htm, which gives some figures (which I haven’t checked). This suggests a couple of orders of magnitude difference in the energies released, without considering that not all the antimatter will undergo fusion.

If microgram quantities of antimatter could be produced and stored, then you probably could use some to make a micro-fusion bomb. The idea is that since antimatter is presumably scarce and expensive, you use just enough to provide the energy necessary to compress and heat your hydrogen isotopes to the fusion point. Ideally you end up with a device that gets 75%-95% of it’s yield from the fusion. I have no idea what the geometry of the device would have to be, or it’s practical upper or lower yield limit, but I don’t doubt it could be done.