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June 03, 2004

Finally, a Nanotech Application I Can Really Get Behind

Ultra explosives?

‚ÄúResearch in nanoenergetics is at a very early stage,‚ÄĚ Texas Tech researcher Latika Menon told nanotechweb.org. ‚ÄúNanoscaled energetic materials are expected to be far superior to existing bulk energetic materials due to an increased reaction interface area and drastically decreased distances between reactants, leading to much faster diffusion-limited processes.‚ÄĚ

...

Igniting samples of the nanocomposite using a butane flame, resistive heating element or a laser caused them to burn with a flame temperature of around 4000 ¬įC, a value that did not depend on the ignition temperature. The scientists reckon that the energy released was about 0.4 J/sq. cm - around a thousand times higher than the amount released by a purely surface reaction, as for a planar film.

A thousand times? But then, that was as compared to a "purely surface reaction." I imagine that explosions are not "purely surface reactions."

Still. Let's say nanotech can increase the power chemical explosive warheads by 10 or 20 or even 50 times one day.

The sharp line between permissible chemical shell and impermissible nuclear warhead starts to get a little blurry.


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posted by Ace at 04:21 AM

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