The Bomb That Killed People WITHOUT Exploding | Tales From the Bottle

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Tales From the Bottle episode two explores the story of the 'Demon Core' - which is equal parts interesting, funny and terrifying. "The demon core was a 6.2-kilogram (14 lb) subcritical mass of plutonium measuring 89 millimetres (3.5 in) in diameter, which was involved in two criticality accidents. The core was slated for use in a third World War II nuclear bomb, but remained in use for testing after Japan's surrender. It was designed with a small safety margin to ensure a successful explosion of the bomb. The device briefly went supercritical when it was accidentally placed in supercritical configurations during two separate experiments intended to guarantee the core was indeed close to the critical point. The incidents happened at the Los Alamos laboratory in 1945 and 1946, and resulted in the acute radiation poisoning and subsequent deaths of scientists Harry Daghlian and Louis Slotin. After these incidents the spherical plutonium core was referred to as the "demon core"." More on Wikipedia:

Comments from Youtube

Dr_G NE_Ph_ApM : I am a nuclear engineer and actually got a chance to work on bits of the destroyed demon core in undergrad so I have a few interesting facts about this device. The first is the reason Slotin was allowed to do this was because he was the only one willing to really work with it, almost everyone else was refused due to the radiation exposure. He felt most comfortable doing it with a screw driver rather than a mechanical apparatus because at that time smooth motion with mechanical devices was hard to produce and sudden jerking motions are not good, hence why the falling brick pissed it off. Everyone recognized it was a dangerous act and referred to the screwdriver stunts as "teasing the dragon". Compared to some of the other experiments going on at that time it was only mildly dangerous (i've read the reports). It is reported that the screwdriver actually slipped out and instead of using the screwdriver to take the top part off he used his bare fucking hands causing his skin to melt. Also, it is reported that the calcium in the teeth of some of the observers became so radioactive it burnt the insides of their mouths. To combat this gold covers for their teeth were made to decrease their suffering as they died, kinda like grills. Also from a nuclear stand point, 5% is fucking massive. A critical mass of Plutonium in a sphere is ~10kg (~140 for Uranium). This being 6 kg means is ~ 4kg away from being critical by its self. Over all great video.

Fuck Off : "Demon core" the heaviest metal sub-genre.

240pixel : Looks like science in the 50's was cooler than now.

Nicholas Robinson : Demon Core sounds like its straight outa DOOM

The Shwaznut/ Scar/Faultyspark : I would still show off my nuclear core just to get laid. Even with the possibly of dieing still, it's either smash or die trying because every mission for me is suicide mission.

jix it up : 2:35 best part lmao. pissed the core off real good *bork*

Thomas Bubniak : This channel is on par with Sam O'Nella Academy, maybe even better.

Kevin Ferrell : "Like most Youtubers, I am an imbecile." I had to pause this vid here, because of the laughing fit. My ribs hurt this morning from this one line... :)

ross franey : Hahah that was awesome. Channel deserves some recognition!

C C : The last time I saw a man killed by a screwdriver was in the Keanu Reeves movie “Speed”.

Bezzy Does The Internet : Hey Irish, you gained another sub! Went from the FBI killing an innocent, to Killdozer, to this. It's all be great and you've been doing great for a while.

Anonymoose : I don't often legitimately laugh out loud while watching Youtube videos. Even videos I find funny usually get little more than a long puff of air, or a single "Ha!" out of me. I'm not just saying this because you're my friend, but I genuinely laughed more than once while watching this. The only point of criticism I have is this; You should never have a blank frame with only the white background. Even a still image of a stick figure representing you talking would have been better than a blank screen.

Macro Lucius : “Demon Core”, more like “Don’t Be A Dumbass With Near Critical Plutonium Core” (Shoddycast Reference Boys)

MaruderSlayer : In case you wanna know a little bit more: Critical mass - basically two ways you can exceed it to make something supercritical: either put more fissionable material or put shields that reflect neutrons back. Basically the idea is that you have to be sure that at least one neutron will destabilize atomic nucleus, so either you have abundance of nucleases (or however plural of nucleus looks like, english is not even my first language, I dunno) around to have propability of collision high, or you reflect neutrons that would otherwise leave material back into material. They did latter. And that blue flash is interesting stuff - it's called cherenkov radiation and it's kinda like that cracle something makes when it moves with supersonic speed, but for light. So you know how you can't go faster then light? Yea... kinda. You can't go faster then light in vaccum, but the speed of light in vaccum is one thing, and speed of light in, say, water is the other thing. And since speed of light in something is smaller then general speed of light i can in fact be exceeded and when particle goes faster then light would in certain medium it generates this cool looking radiation. It's not dangerous btw, but if you see it when you are working on open source you know that a lot of particles just accelerated to some really fucking high speed, so most likely you fucked up, and have like 3 months or so, most of which will be filled with you throwing up blood and stuff.

Graham Keith Todd : er not quite the core WAS used in a real test in the South Pacific in 1956...and true to form lived up to it's name,in a BIG WAY! the blast was 10 times more powerful them expected

average keklaslovakian : What is this doom 2016 "the demon core is the only thing that can destroy the king of the Barons of hell"

EvilDorito : Sounds like a Norwegian death metal band "Demon Core"

ScaryCrow : Just stumbled on your series. I like your take on the video essay, especially your choice of topics. Keep it up cause I've already watched them all!

James Bingham : This happened in Los Alamos, NM, home of the Atomic Bomb. also my hometown, as an employee of the laboratory that this happened at, ive actually been in the very room that this incident happend in. great video.

Daring Darius : 5:07 it's because of this that you're being subbed to... fking, dumbest most hilarious position that you could think of xD

colonelsanders611 : A few notes off the top of my head. Daghlian was not the only one in the room at the time, there was a security officer on the other side of the room however he was far enough away that he suffered no ill effects from the criticality. Also interesting to note Slotin was one of three investigators that submitted an accident report after Daghlians criticality incident so he absolutely should have known better. This was likely Slotins last time preforming this experiment as he was training his replacement since he was planning on moving back east to work in a different industry. There actually was a safer procedure devised after the first incident which involved using wooden spacers to slowly lower the top hemisphere onto the core however Slotin with his typical cavalier attitude disregarded this and only used the screwdriver. As others in the comments have noted this core was not melted down it was actually fired in the Able shot of operation crossroads, there is video of this bomb somewhere on youtube so you can actually see the core from this story being blown up. For those interested in more details about the demon core or other less well known Criticality incidents I highly recommend the book Atomic Accidents by James Mahaffey, it is highly entertaining and informative. Great work on this video and the rest of your content I found your channel a few days ago and have enjoyed all of your videos so far. Keep up the good work.

MultiGG2 : The "Demon Core" sounds like something out of the video game DOOM. XD

Cody C. Scott : 3rd video I've watched from you, shocked at your sub count. Decided I want to join before you hit a million:)

Bouwe van de Krol account : Guess I have a new obsession on youtube...

Boco Corwin : I'm not a bomb expert, but I'm fairly certain your channel is about to blow up.

Jumbo Neko : Just discovered this channel and have watched 5 videos already, you're gonna go far!

Just a fan : Please feel free to explain... why you're no fun at parties

Ethan Padilla-Sims : The fact that your Irish (I think) makes this 10x funnier

ViciouZTrickster : "Some bad shit is about to happen" That killed me right there, I'm on the floor dying.


toastAYE : This channel could get big man! Keep up the good work, you should post a bit more often if you can

Strikebang Zekrom : So they made a nuclear meltdown and made it bigger? Thats just asking for death

D08 : It sounds like the name for a heavy metal song

dangerous yeeter beater : 2:39 *the Lion King sleeps tonight starts playing*

Noa Sundqvist : This channel, Today I Found Out and Fact Fiend are my life. Form a supergroup please

Jerry Loe : It’s called u touch me I’m go bang x500000000

Ryan Lindsay : Looks like the YouTube gods have selected you, they made a good choice

Alwin Priven : yea you explained the physics part pretty well. I might not be a physicist, but I'm like 95% sure you explained it well.

leeep : 5:02 cracked me up man, I just imagine him just wiggling around like he's boneless or something lol

Qwerty Bastard : I think I used that in the last Doom game.

Mister Gomez : Hey man love your channel keep it up

Mazovk Izta : "...why ur no fun at parties" 👌🏼 min 1:10-1:20

CrilleMega : I love your vids, mate! <3

Jady : I really love these videos

Daaa Coach : I wanted to name my little brother Rufus. So, my brother is a MFDC. Makes sense, he is a demon.

Kowboy USA : And that's the story of how the _Darwin_ became an award.

GILGAMESH OF URUK : Why dose this channel not have more subs ?

Hyrohusk Tc : Hey what do you do for a living Oh I just piss off a thing called the demon core

AceOfSpades2398 : Sounds like a genre of metal