We’re throwing science at the walls here …

Phil Plait talks about the 50th anniversary of the largest high-altitude nuclear test, a loveable 1.4 megaton beast called Starfish Prime. I wish I could make this stuff up. Regardless, I was reading the account and I was struck by the attitude of the US and USSR to weapons testing: “Lets see what happens …” This has resonance with one of my favourite video game characters – Cave Johnson from Portal 2:

Just a heads up, we’re gonna have a super conductor turned up full blast and pointed at you for the duration of this next test. I’ll be honest, we’re throwing science at the walls here to see what sticks. No idea what it’ll do.

Seriously worth a read to find out what happens when a 1.4Mt nuke goes off at 400km.

The 50th anniversary of Starfish Prime: the nuke that shook the world | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

 

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