Motion of the debris from a high-altitude nuclear explosion: simulations including collisionless shock and charge exchange
Morrow, David P.
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In 1962, the United States conducted its final atmospheric nuclear test. Since 1962, the American national laboratories have attempted to simulate the results observed in exo-atmospheric testing in order to understand and explain how high-energy electrons became trapped further across the Earth’s magnetic field than expected. In this thesis, my research will use a computer modeling program designed by the late Dr. Dennis Hewett for LLNL in 1972 to simulate the debris from a High Altitude Nuclear Explosion (HANE). The objective of this research is to examine two physical phenomena, collisionless shocks driven by multiple ion species and charge exchange, to determine their independent relevance to the final spatial disposition of fission fragments from a HANE. This research used the ZMR code, a one-dimensional, particle-in-cell plasma code to simulate the movement of the debris ions produced by the HANE. The debris ions are assumed to be the source of the measured high-energy electrons due to subsequent beta-decay. These high-energy electrons can damage the satellite network vital to the Department of Defense and security of the nation.
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