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June 23, 2010 | | Comments 0

Is It a Good Idea to Nuke the Oil Leak?

There was brief speculation in the media about using nuclear weapons to seal up the raging oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. I think this is a bad idea, from a physics point of view. Let me say that my mentor while I was in high school and at Harvard, Edward Teller, father of the H-bomb, was a firm advocate of using nuclear weapons to dig out canals and other grand engineering projects. The logic is this: when an H-bomb is detonated underground, most of its energy is in the form of soft X-rays, which deposit most of their energy in a large sphere, where it is absorbed and the energy turned to intense heat. (In the air, this ball of hot ionized plasma rises rapidly, with cold air coming in from the side, which gives rise to the familiar mushroom cloud).

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http://bigthink.com/ideas/20443

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Filed Under: Spotlight

About the Author: Official Website of Dr. Michio Kaku

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