Mr. Oragahn wrote:
That's an unsupported assumption. We don't know what the weapons are.
Unless we have really good reasons to believe they're very, very unnatural weapons, even in the realm of SW
(they're just named proton cannons and that proton part seems to be the only thing worth of mention), then we can safely assert that they oscillate between chemical and nuclear, the later ranging from fission to fusion.
1. "Photon torpedo" is an example of your nomenclature assumptions falling flat. See also "lightsaber"/"laser sword", "turbolaser", et al.
Words used to described weapons usually refer to what they look like, what they do, how they do it or what they are. The more layman the use of one of the words composing the complete name, the more it tends to tilt towards metaphor, or at least an average Joe's visual description more than anything truly technical. The perfect case being that of a lightsaber. It's a melee weapon that looks like a saber made of light and is particularily good at slashing moves. Zweïhander refers to the fact that you use two hands to control the long sword. Crossbow? Seems to have gotten its name because the bow is mounted crosswise from the rail section (the string also crosses said section) so the need for speculation is rather reduced. Bunker buster. Busts bunkers.
Then we have more technical terms, like, for example, thermal detonator. The jury is still out on what a turbolaser really is. The most problematic part being the laser, but we have no reason to ignore the possibility that a laser-like attribute, behaviour or function is involved in the weapon at some point. Nor do we have any good reason to dismiss the turbo part either that hints at a spinning and accelerating process, possibly to supercharge a reaction. Flamethrower? Quite explicit.
Or should we dismiss the fusion word in "fusion furnace"? It made no doubt to you that it meant nuclear fusion. Did you also reject the use of some kind of seemingly naturally generated plasma as part of Theed's "plasma-fueled generator core"? Not as I can see on your Imperial power page
The more specific the words, the higher the chances that they really do mean what they mean.
As for your photon torpedo, the part of a matter-antimatter reaction that is relevant to military purposes does produce –to a great extent– gamma ray radiations. In other words, very high energy photons. Of course one could argue that nukes initially release their energy as X-ray, so they could be called photon bombs too. Now, the fact that photon torps glow in space may have inspired scientists or military personnel to focus on the glowing aspect and put an emphasis on that, but then gave it a more scientific sounding aspect and going for photon torpedo instead of glowball or light-torpedo. And then again, unless people in the UFP are idiots, there's probably a very good reason why they insist on calling them photon torpedoes.
That's talking about in-universe reasons of course.
All in all, we have no valid reason to reject the presence of protons at some point in the proton cannon's mechanism or use for creating or firing a projectile, since nothing appears to conflict with the idea of protons being related to said mechanism or use.
Therefore protons hint rather well at the weapon being nuclear or involving a nuclear stage, perhaps sharing a likeliness with the hydrogen bomb, where the fusion stage is used to boost and revitalize the less powerful fission reaction. Unless we have good reasons to believe otherwise, there's no practical reason to dismiss the use of such a specific term as if it wasn't directly related to the weapon mechanism or use.
2. Trek and Wars both feature weapons that show a greater-than-modern-basic-chemical yield while not being nuclear (e.g. the chemicals from the green flying Troi ep), and there are various ways in which modern Earth stretches the bounds as best it can (thermobarics, fuel-air, etc).
Well, just be careful with the use of that word stretch here, because the processes you refer to are just plain physics, not bullshitium. ;)
The shows and movies we're thinking of (science fiction, fantasy), on the other hand, tend to indeed push things out of bounds.
But realize that what you're saying is that there are substances in SW and ST that release 20 units of energy per kilogram instead of the normally feasible 10 units. You're considering a reactant that will simply provide more energy per unit of matter, therefore require and use less matter per unit of energy to participate to the intial phase of the creation of a fireball, so more of said creation will hinge on the greater energetic release heating up the surrounding independant medium, like air.
The rule is quite simple: the more powerful the reactant, the less of it is needed. So the fireball will have more to do with other stuff being energized than the reactants being both propelled at high speeds and put on fire. And things shift to a whole other league when we enter the nuclear reaction domain, where the matter of the bomb itself is largely irrelevant to the constitution of the fireball other than being the sole source of energy, contrary to the MOAB for examples.
Besides, the cannons themselves and the entire deployment of hardware relevant to their use, including the complete lack of any semi-automatic feeding mechanism, quite obviously tells us that there are far less reactants used than in a GBU-43 that's over 9 meters long. We do see in the show use by CIS forces of things such as proton bombs, but they're nowhere to be seen on Ryloth.
False dichotomy: there are many possibilities.
Well, it is a very fair assumption, isn't it?
If I thought so I wouldn't have protested. Your apparent assumption of a WW2-style metallic shell is not valid. The guns shot thick red bolts, not visible against the sky but visible in the shot of Windu on the bridge with a transport's shadowed belly out the window. Those are not consistent with droid tank shots, though tanks were also visible in the final battle at the AAA site.
What about those "many possibilities" then?
First of all, the notion of a shell is just one of two options I suggested, the other one dealing with a more classical approach regarding science fiction weapons, particularly in Star Wars and relying on the usual bottled advanced stuff that's energized and is explosive too. That's been the basis of descriptions for what the flaking projectiles could be in SW.
Secondly, if the shots seen from the bridge are not consistent with something, it's with numerous other views from the same battle scene wherein no projectile can be seen at all; even more so as those seen from the ship's bridge are particularly slow and not thin nor transparent enough to be invisible in the several external wide shots.
That said, with projectiles such as missiles and torpedoes known to come with particle fields around them at times, you can never be sure if the projectiles fired by the proton cannons are solid or not: they could be shells wrapped in similar energized particle fields.
If anything, this just reminds me why I dislike using this show's visuals.
I honestly didn't expect you to admit that. Kudos.
As you do
actually know, I have no problem doing so and already proved it in that other heated thread
Cool story, bro.
I gave kudos. Let's just leave it there.
OK. But then why didn't you expect me to admit having made a mistake?
It's going to be very dirty.
Oh well. There's no point getting precise about apple measurements when talking oranges.
Aside from our disagreement over the nature of a proton cannon's projectile, the data obtained there would be used for any other case though, it's useful data. Also, nuclear calculators have been routinely used by about everyone here and elsewhere to gauge the firepower of heavy weapons in atmosphere. A correct information would always be relevant for another time.
So that would make your measurement of the fireball's width something between 91.44 and 121.92 meters.
No, not the fireball, but the entire burst . . . but I defer to your ~200m burst measurement based on pixel-counting a full screen rather than my ballpark off of a handheld.
The fireball and the entire burst are one and same thing AFAIK.
I also estimated when it was still all bright, compared to your inclusion of smoke.
There is virtually no smoke related to the nuclear reaction for there is no combustion.
I look at the moment the 1952 Baker shot's fireball begins to cooldown to some visible degree so that it starts to darken in some spots only
while its overall shape hasn't changed; its outer shell starts to become grey, an indicator in my opinion that the fireball's growth is ought to be complete simply because it doesn't have enough energy of its own to expand at a fast pace.
When this visual transition begins during this final and long cooldown, the width of the fireball remains roughly the same in this case.
By this case, I mean the study of those low-yield shots and low altitude, because other parameters such as the blast wave bouncing off of the ground and back to the fireball would start to push it up and flatten it a bit, potentially widening too.
Doing some measuring at a further later stage –several frames after the entire fireball's visible external layer turned to grey– would introduce other disturbing factors related to the environment, winds, humidity, etc.
Just to hammer the point: the not-so-white layer is just the outer layer of the fireball already starting to cool down so it's not even luminous anymore, thus confirming that it has reached maturity in size (which we can see anyway as, yes, it does not grow beyond that stage). I consider it the safest moment for that kind of very low yield as seen during daytime.
Measuring the fireball at the very beginning of that transition also prevents using an area of saturated white pixels on screen that could include the flaring aura due to the fireball's high luminosity at that earlier moment.
Without surprise, we know that without specific filters one cannot make any measurement of the fireball when it is at its maximum brillance and smaller.
As a sidenote, there's an additional element that could contribute to reducing the correct yield of the explosions in the CW episode: altitude.
The higher the explosions happen, the lesser the air density. These are just two speculations on my part but with lesser air density, energy could be radiated further away before being largely absorbed. Also, the growing fireball would meet less resistance. It looks like the Acclamators were flying something like 2~3 km above ground.
Also, to conclude, I suspect that both SDN's and altwars' calculators give a radius that is exactly (or close to) the breakaway one, not actually the final one, which all in all tends to provide yields higher than what they really are, and are therefore in error.
No, this is what I was talking about when I mentioned confounding a nuclear fireball with, well, fire.
The fire is the fireball. What else would you want it to be or where else would you want that fire to come from?
The official literature makes no such distinction either.
As for the calculators, let's remember that they have always been used, without any contradiction by anyone nor even Wong himself as far as I know, to measure the visible whitish fire "cloud" which everybody kept refering to as the fireball.
They even provide figures for ground (surface) or close to ground (very low altitude) detonations by accounting for the pancaking effect, which implies the fact that a fireball does not strictly mean a nicely round sphere of fire.
I also referred to the 'technical fireball' versus the big flamey burst.
Please define "big flamey burst".
We should get clear on what you mean by those other things you identify and name in various ways in opposition to the fireball or "technical" fireball.