Saga Atomic/Nuclear Bombs

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by darthbarracuda, Dec 16, 2012.

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  1. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    Surely an orbital bombardment would do more damage to the local infrastructure than a ground assault and if the aim is subsequent reclamation and habitation, obliterating the locality is counter productive.

    Atomics are a no go for the same argument and then some.

    I do however struggle with not utilising air support when dealing with ground troops
  2. Mange Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2003
    star 4
    Wrong. According to Saxton, it would take a flotilla, not a single Star Destroyer, an hour to render the surface of a planet uninhabitable: SWTC: Star Destroyers.
    Sarli was wrong on several things in his 'rebuttal' to Saxton (such as claiming that a 100 MT nuclear blast is "enough to wreck the Earth" and I also seem to recall him claiming that a BDZ don't need to destroy all life despite several sources, such as Hutt Gambit and source books, saying otherwise).
    Last edited by Mange, Jan 21, 2013
  3. darthbarracuda Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 2
    That's what I was thinking too. Like you don't wanna just blow up everything...just like today. But then again, they have lightspeed, hovercrafts, and lightsabers...so shouldn't they have at least a little better targeting system?

    I guess invisible beams of energy that disintegrates buildings isn't as cool as lots of colorful lasers and explosions...
  4. darthbarracuda Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 2
    And seriously...if you have enough firepower to put a planet into slag with just a few Star Destroyers...then why in the galaxy would you need a giant Death Star that blows planets up? You can do enough damage with Star Destroyers to render a planet inhospitable...
  5. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    It says "less than an hour" on the page.

    While 1 100 MT blast would probably not do too much (the Soviets detonated a 50 megaton bomb with no climatic effect that I know of), a case could be made that 100 1 megaton blasts, occurring simultaneously, could throw up enough dust to wreck a planet's climate.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Jan 21, 2013
  6. Mange Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2003
    star 4
    Because you can protect yourself against Star Destroyers (planetary shields etc.).
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  7. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Even if you had a shield to protect your cities from bombardment, I'm thinking that the sheer amount of heat dissipated by releasing that much energy (from both the turbolaser blasts and from operating a shield generator powerful enough to block those shots) would cook everything on the planet before long.
  8. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    SW stuff may involve a certain amount of ignoring or bending the laws of physics. Still, if you can do that for explaining why so much power doesn't cook your own people, why can't you invoke the same kind of pseudophysics to explain why you can do amazing things with less power?

    The Hutt Gambit might state that "all life, all sentients" on the planet would have been destroyed if the BDZ bombardment had been carried out- but it also stated that afterward they would be going down and combing the rubble for survivors.

    "Rubble". Not "pole to pole sea of molten rock a metre or more thick".

    Like, for example, the Death Star's superlaser. Maybe it doesn't use as much energy as was calculated, for those sorts of reasons? Since that much energy is comparable to converting the mass of a Death Star sized object into energy via matter/antimatter annihilation.
  9. Mange Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2003
    star 4
    Star Wars is a fantasy, but why would pseudophysics require less power?

    Indeed, but it's not ISD's they would've had at their disposal, but dreadnaughts, light cruisers and bulk cruisers (and we all know what Solo thought of those :p). Hardly comparable to Star Destroyers. It's still pretty impressive considering it's Nar Shaddaa we're talking about, an ecumenopolis with its layers of buildings and docking towers stretching into orbit.

    We're not talking about energy being produced and released in a single burst but over the course of an hour (which would require perfect efficiency so it'll likely take longer). But simply no, it wouldn't. It would take roughly 5E20 joules to melt the surface of a rocky planet one meter and going by the numbers on the mass of the Death Star (as mentioned by Centives), it would take roughly 9E33 joules to convert the DS mass into energy (though the size of the DS as mentioned on that site is too small).

    I don't want this to be a debate that goes back and forth for ever. I've made my point.
    Last edited by Mange, Jan 22, 2013
  10. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    If the laws of physics "demand" that a certain amount of power be used to achieve a certain effect, and Star Wars doesn't obey the laws of physics- then the power amount no longer is compulsory.

    There's a detailed explanation here:

    http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/160.html
    of why the amount of energy required to achieve the planetary disintegration seen in A New Hope is comparable to converting the DS's entire mass into energy- using a 160 km Death Star.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Jan 22, 2013
  11. Mange Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2003
    star 4
    No, I'm afraid you're reading it wrong. The site correctly states that it would take 1e38 joules to destroy Alderaan but that the Death Star wouldn't be able to generate that much power even if the entire mass of the Death Star was converted into energy (1e35 joules according to their calculations). Of course, the Death Star does use one of those "pseudophysic" concepts you referred to earlier, namely hypermatter (and because of its tachyonic nature, the reasoning in that article doesn't apply).
  12. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Which was what I said:



    "Hypermatter allows you to manipulate that much energy without frying the Death Star with waste heat"

    "Hypermatter allows you to blow up the planet with much less energy than normally required."

    Which of those makes more sense?
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Jan 22, 2013
  13. Mange Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2003
    star 4
    I took it that you referred to the energy required to melt the surface one meter. That would require, as I mentioned above, 5E20 joules. If the DS mass was converted into energy, that would generate 1E35 joules (if we take that site's assumptions at face value). Thus you're in many orders of magnitudes wrong. Or am I misunderstanding your argument?

    False dilemma (and especially the second argument doesn't make sense at all).
    Last edited by Mange, Jan 22, 2013
  14. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I was referring to the amount of energy required to explode a planet- the argument was that it's a problematically large figure, and it might make more sense to invoke SW reasons why it can be lowered, rather than SW reasons why it can be managed.

    What exactly happens when a superlaser fires?

    Is the Death Star somehow managing 1E38 Joules at once?

    Why would it not make sense, for hypermatter to enable the blowing up of a planet with less than 1E38 joules of energy?
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Jan 22, 2013
  15. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Maybe the Death Star should just eject its hypermatter core and fling it at the planet they want to destroy. If we look at Mass Effect's codex of background info, they point out that habitable planets take forever to form and therefore are valuable real estate...so it's not like you want to destroy one all that often anyway.
    Last edited by Alpha-Red, Jan 22, 2013
  16. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    The exploding hypermatter core of the DS2 did very little to the Forest Moon though.

    If proton torpedoes are a kind of nuclear bomb - then a case can be made that nuclear bombs are not obsolete in the SW universe.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Jan 22, 2013
  17. Mange Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2003
    star 4
    You're making the argument that it does and it's you who needs to show it.
  18. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Example- in Tatooine Ghost, we see that there is "mass nullification technology" in the SW universe, allowing people to store a week's worth of water for a hot desert climate, in a belt clip.

    Hypothesis- maybe the superlaser is in part a weaponized mass nullifier, so they no longer need to worry about overcoming the gravitational binding energy of a planet.
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  19. darthbarracuda Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 2
    And also, when the Death Star fires its superlaser, why doesn't the DS fly off in the opposite direction? I've never seen actual engines on the DS. And where is the hyperdrive?
  20. Yunners Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 2
    Because physics. The superlaser has no mass therefor no signifigant force (eh heh) would be acting against the DS when it fires.
    And of course it has engines. How do you think it got to the Yavin system?
    Last edited by Yunners, Jan 24, 2013
  21. darthbarracuda Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 2
    Yeah but where? We've never actually seen a picture of where the engines are. And IMO the engines would be a prime target for the Rebels to fire upon to stop mobility of it...
  22. Yunners Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 2
    We never see pictuers of the toilets used by Stormtroopers on the death Star either. But that doesn't mean it doesn't have any. The engines were probably too heavily shielded/defended to make an effective target.
    FYI they're located along the equatorial trench.
  23. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    actually, even massless particles can generate force if there's enough of them- which is how light sails work.
  24. Yunners Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 2
    I know, hence why I said significant force. :)
  25. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    There's problems with the interpretation of the beam as massless- it's focussed by a magnetic ring- according to Death Star. That would suggest that it has charge- and charged particles normally have mass- protons, electrons, positrons, antiprotons, etc.
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