[extropy-chat] green glasslike glaze

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Sun May 15 04:14:30 UTC 2005

--- Gary Miller <aiguy at comcast.net> wrote:
> How can people be collecting this stuff?
> Haven't we been told that the half-life for the radiation produced by
> atomic weapons is so long that it would leave the areas
> uninhabitable for thousands if not tens of thousands of years?

Obviously someone suffering from being programmed by years of
Superman/Kryptonite disinformation. Gotta watch out for that Marvel
Comics, they are just one more commie front.... Firstly, not all
radiation is the same. Long half lives typically indicate that the
isotopes involved are very stable and emit a very low level of
radiation. Secondly, having a small piece of low radiation material
(like, say, a piece of uranium ore, depleted uranium, or irradiated
glass) is markedly different from handling enriched fissile materials,
or even from living in a location where all the landscape has a low
level of residual radioactivity. Living at Trinity is bad for you, but
visiting there, or taking home a small piece of trinitite, is not

Glass is also much more stable than, say, a piece of radioactive dust.
You inhale far more radioactive isotopes each day from coal plant and
diesel fueled vehicle emissions into the urban atmosphere. Coal plants
sell their fly ash for filler to cement manufacturers for filler,
despite being so laden with radioactive heavy metal isotopes that it
would be high level nuclear was if it was produced by a nuclear plant.
This is the true source of most residential radon contamintion, not
natural emissions from granite rock formations.

> Which leads me to another question I've had for ages.
> What is left after an underground nuclear blast?

A crater, a lump of radioactive rock and soil, and if near a water
table, leaching death....

> Is there a large under ground spherical glass or crystalline cavern
> created by all the heat and pressure.


> If so would some of the crystals formed be gemstones.

Could be. I don't think you'd want a loved one wearing it around her
neck. She might need a thyroid transplant a few decades hence, at least
for those from a recent blast.

> Previously I had assumed that even if there were, they would be so
> radioactive for so long that excavating such a site would be useless
> because of the radioactivity.
> Is it possible that at the blast temperature and pressures created
> new crystal and/or materials not normally found in nature could be
> created?
> I realize this is a lot of questions but I find the whole topic
> pretty interesting.   
> Has anyone ever seen any good books devoted to this subject?
> Or has this whole area of exploration been kept off limits by
> government restriction to these sites?

That is a pretty good guess. I doubt, though, that a blast would
produce very large gems. Large carat gemstones require a significant
amount of constant pressure for a long term to grow without massive
flaws and detectable spectral differences. A blast produces a very
short period of pressure. Even then, most of the crystals that it
produces would be glass/quartz of little value.

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                      -William Pitt (1759-1806) 
Blog: http://intlib.blogspot.com

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