When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

April 22, 2004

The Whole Hafnium Deal

Bravo Romeo Delta

Well, some of you may have been reading about the newly found super-destructive power of radioisotopes, specifically Hafnium. As well as the oh-so-predictable scares, concerns, bafflement, and fears about a new arms race and so on.

Quickly, here's the scoop - with this new technology (assuming it works according to plan) one will be able to get a huge yield out of tiny amouts of explosive: "One gram of fully charged hafnium isomer could store more energy than 50 kilograms of TNT."

But what's really up with this stuff?

Well, for starters, here's a bit of the scientific history to date on this subject from a pretty good article in the Washington Post.

From all the hoopla the first question to come to mind is whether or not this is absolute nonsense or absolutely terrifying (or just really cool).

Well, in short, there are people claiming the experiments show this works. And there are those who claim they've run experiments that don't work.

So, I went to talk to a real scientist with the ever important question that always faces us here at Anticipatory Retaliation - "So, Doc, is this going to allow the smack to be lain down with greater ease and efficiency, or what?"

Well, the article I was referred to is here. The gist of the bit is that it notes that the speculation is 'premature.' Given the fact that two sets of people performed two different sets of experiments and came up with results that both supported and contradicted these assertions, it's too soon to call.

However, that being said - one must note that it's not dead in the water. So keep yer eyes peeled, partner. Next time I start shooting at you, there might be a gram of this hyped-up hafnium in each round I shoot at you - and that'll make a bloody mess.

Launched by Bravo Romeo Delta at April 22, 2004 07:58 PM

Retaliatiory Launches

Darn these scientist types!

I was going to write a science-fiction story involving the use of nuclear isomers in weapons, and when I checked up on the latest research I found that they were already working on them. I suppose I could make it a spy thriller instead of SF...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at April 23, 2004 02:31 AM

Of course, if it does work, DARPA & co would be trying very hard to persuade everyone else that it doesn't. But I'm sure all the criticisms are well founded really...

Posted by: Wembley at October 12, 2004 07:48 PM

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