Monday, February 14, 2011

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

The image above is of the detonation of the Tsar Bomba nuclear test, Novaya Zemlya Island, Mityushikha Bay, Arctic Circle, Soviet Union, 1961, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever built.  The bomb exploded 2.6 miles above Earth, yet its fireball reached the ground, its shockwave broke windows in Finland and Sweden, and its mushroom cloud reached seven times the height of Mount Everest.

The graphic below presents a comparison of the fireball radii of various nuclear weapons including Tsar Bomba:

On the basis of a little additional research I’ve revised the stats for the impractical but interesting big bombs of Humanspace.  The table below lists the revised stats and approximate stats for a few real world nukes.  I’ve also edited the descriptions and effects of the atomic bomb, Planetbuster, and Thermostellar bombs.  I will probably need to revise these again once the force field and starship combat rules come together.

Blast Radius
Variable Damage
Tsar Bomba (50 Mt)
52,000 lb.
Castle Bravo (15 Mt)
23,500 lb.
W59 Minuteman I (1 Mt)
550 lb.
W88 Peacekeeper (350 kt)
440 lb.
Fat Man (18 kt)
10,200 lb.

Atomic bomb
25 lb.+
Planet Buster bomb (sub-atomic)
50 mi.+
500 lb.+
Thermostellar bomb (Interfogulator)
200 mi. +
1000 lb.+

Atomic bomb: These devices derive their immense destructive force from nuclear reactions of fission or fusion.   Atomic bombs vary widely in yield.  An atomic bomb is treated as a diambrite explosion (see below) within its blast radius, as a 10X power firebomb in a zone 5x its blast radius,  and as a wavium bomb in a zone from 5x its blast radius to 20x its blast radius .  The powerful electromagnetic pulse created by the explosion will also jam electrical equipment (including energy weapons, robots, androids and force fields) in the blast radius for 2d8 hours.  Additionally any living being caught in the blast must save vs. death or die from radiation exposure in 3d6 days.

Planet Buster bomb (sub-atomic): These terrible weapons derive their destructive energy from sub-atomic forces.  Treat as an atomic bomb with a much greater blast radius.  A bomb of sufficient size may result in seismic aftershocks that are capable of shattering a world.

Thermostellar bomb (interfogulator): The weapon without answer. These devices are weaponized interfogulators that derive their destructive energy from inter-planar forces.  If exploded within a star a sufficiently large bomb may induce collapse or supernova. Treat as an atomic bomb with a much greater blast radius.  Objects “disintegrated” are 50% likely to be shifted into a bubble plane or another dimension.

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