Tag Archives: nuclear test

In Conversation with: Paul Bracken, Expert on Nuclear ‘Power Politics’

North Korea, which just conducted its third nuclear test, is using its weapons program to deter the United States by holding its allies “hostage,” according to Paul Bracken, who teaches management and political science at Yale.

Bracken is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on several Department of Defense advisory boards, and is the author, most recently, of “The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics” (Times Books, 2012). The following is an edited version of an email interview with him. (more…)

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Seeing Stars, Finding Nukes: Radio Telescopes Can Spot Clandestine Nuclear Tests

SAN FRANCISCO — In the search for rogue nukes, researchers have discovered an unlikely tool: astronomical radio telescopes.

Ohio State University researchers previously demonstrated another unlikely tool, when they showed that South Korean GPS stations detected telltale atmospheric disturbances from North Korea’s 2009 nuclear test.

Both techniques were born out of the discovery that underground nuclear explosions leave their mark—on the outer reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. (more…)

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Storm-chasing Spacecraft

A U-led experiment flies on a NASA mission to Earth’s radiation belts

The story goes that when Earth’s Van Allen Radiation Belts were first discovered, scientists were so amazed by the intensity of radiation, they thought they’d stumbled onto a Soviet nuclear test.

But they soon discovered that Earth is girdled by two concentric, doughnut-shaped regions of space, churning with radiation from protons, electrons, and other charged subatomic particles trapped in Earth’s magnetic field. (more…)

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