Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Albuquerque Day 4

Finally, we did something interesting, today! That's why there are no blog entries for Monday and Tuesday.
I need to go back, and post some more of my photos that I took on Sunday.  It just takes a long time to upload each picture, because they require a lot of MegaBytes, and Blogger's server is slow.

Well, I'm not the first Hungarian to visit New Mexico.  The building, above, is proof of that.
One of these days I'll tell the story of the time I ate chocolate cake with Edward Teller (Teller Ede).

Our tour bus

Fat Man and Little Boy
Fat Man was your basic atomic bomb where you slammed 2 pieces of subcritical Uranium 235 into each other at high speed, and their combined mass went critical so fast that the fission reaction went out of control.
In other words, it went "boom". 
Little Boy's design was more complicated: they had a single lump of Plutonium 239 that was surrounded symmetrically on all sides by high explosives.  When they got all of the explosives to go off at exactly the same time--down to the last millionth of a second--the lump of Plutonium got compressed inward to the point that it went critical. 
The museum does dedicate part of its exhibit to the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  It also starts the exhibit with a display of 1930s and 40s era Japanese Army radios, rifles, and "Samurai" swords (actually, they're officers' swords). 
They also have exhibits about the positive uses of radioactive materials. 
This is a patient getting a nuclear medicine scan.
Here's a depressing thought: I know how to operate this scanner on display. 
That's how long I've been a nuclear medicine technologist.
Hey, this is cool:   This is Hal Anger's ORIGINAL gamma camera!
This is the original nuclear medicine scanner.  Wow.
I need to find out why they have this small Navy aircraft carrier jet plane on display.
They also have a B-52 on display in the back.
My friend Tony Maldonado was one of the last tail gunners in the back of a B-52 bomber.
Too weird.


Anonymous said...

Here's a bit of nuclear trivia. The first nuclear explosion at the Trinity site was a test of the Little Boy configuration (lump of plutonium surrounded by explosives). They never tested the Fat Man configuration before detonating it over Nagasaki. They didn't have very much fissile material and they were pretty sure it would work, so they went with what they had.

Anonymous said...

Oops! I think I got it backwards. The Fat Man configuration was the plutonium surrounded by explosives and tested at trinity. The Little Boy configuration (slam two pieces together - untested) was dropped on Hiroshima.