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    • Physics/Global Studies 280
      • Session 1
      • Module 1: Introduction to the Course
    • Introduction of Physics 280 Staff
      • Frederick K. Lamb, Course Director and Instructor Professor of Physics and Astronomy
      • Jurgen Scheffran, Lecturer Research Scientist, ACDIS Program
      • Young Cho, TA Political Science
      • Chris Cook Physics and Medicine
      • Matthew Duchene Nuclear Engineering
      • Izabela Dziubinski, TA Rhetoric/Creative Writing, ESL Instructor
      • Matthew Fischer Molecular Biology
    • Frederick Lamb – 1
        • Faculty member at the University of Illinois since 1970
        • Professor of Physics and of Astronomy Fortner Endowed Chair in Theoretical Astrophysics Director of the Center for Theoretical Astrophysics
        • Research focus is high-energy and relativistic astrophysics
          • Black holes and strong-field gravity
          • Neutron stars, pulsars, and ultradense matter
          • X-ray and gamma-ray stars
        • Played a leadership role in the conception, development, launch, and successful operation of NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer satellite mission
        • Chair of NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer satellite mission planning group
    • Frederick Lamb – 2
        • Faculty member in the Illinois Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security
        • Consultant to the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of State. US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the U.S. Congress (intelligence and foreign relations)
        • Consultant to the Institute for Defense Analyses on arms control, ballistic missile flight, nuclear weapon tests, space weapons, U.S. space-launch capabilities, and space and aerospace vehicles, computerized battle simulations
        • Chief technical expert consultant for the Department of Defense program to verify restrictions on underground nuclear testing
        • Member, technical support committee for the U.S. delegation to the 1989–90 U.S.–Soviet negotiations on nuclear testing
        • Co-chair of 2001–2003 American Physical Society Study of Boost-Phase Ballistic Missile Defense
    • Introduction of Physics 280 Students
      • Your name?
      • Year in school?
      • Major?
      • Any background in the subject?
      • Why are you taking the course?
      • What do you hope for from the course?
    • History of Physics 280
        • First offered in Spring 1982
          • Course development motivated by concern about the growing threat of nuclear weapons and nuclear war
          • Taught by a team of 13 faculty volunteers from the Physics, Astronomy, and (then) Nuclear Engineering departments
        • Second offering in Spring 1983
          • Co-taught by Frederick Lamb and Jeremiah Sullivan
          • Submitted and approved as a regular course
        • Has been taught every spring semester since
          • Has served as model for courses elsewhere
          • Most courses elsewhere have died off
          • Physics 280 is arguably the longest running course of its kind
    • Physics 280 Topics
        • Introduction—brief history of the development of nuclear weapons and attempts to control them; nuclear terrorism
        • Nuclear weapon physics and designs
        • Nuclear explosions—effects of a single explosion, of a nuclear war, comparison to effects of biological, chemical, and radiological weapons
        • Nuclear weapon delivery systems
        • Nuclear weapon programs and arsenals
        • Missile defenses—past, present, and future
        • Nuclear arms control—treaties and other approaches to controlling nuclear weapons, verification technology
        • Future directions
    • Physics 280 Web Site
      • http://online.physics.uiuc.edu/courses/phys280/Spring08/
      • (write on blackboard)
    • Introduction to Physics 280 – 1
        • Course information
          • The Physics 280 web site is the “Information Center” for this course
          • Consult it often—every day, if possible—for assignments and updates
        • Class meetings
          • Lectures (slides posted on Physics 280 website after each lecture)
          • Videos, demos, Q&A, discussions of readings and current events
        • Writing Labs
          • Explanation of writing assignments
          • Instruction and guidance on how to write for the course
          • Writing exercises
          • Help in revising first versions of writings
    • Introduction to Physics 280 – 2
        • Required Texts
          • The Little, Brown Essential Handbook for Writers , by Jane E. Aaron (6th edition)
          • Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear States, and Terrorism , Peter R. Beckman, Paul W. Crumlish, Michael N. Dobkowski, and Steven P. Lee (2007 paperback edition)
          • What Terrorists Want, by Louise Richardson (2007 paperback edition)
        • Required Readings
          • Selections from The Day After Midnight: The Effects of Nuclear War, ed. Michael Riordan (available as a PDF file on the P280 ‘Links’ page)
          • The Gravest Danger , by Sidney D. Drell and James E. Goodby (available as a PDF file on the P280 ‘Links’ page)
        • Recommended Readings
          • OTA Report on Technologies Underlying Weapons of Mass Destruction (available as a PDF file on the P280 ‘Links’ page)
          • Nuclear Terrorism , by Graham Allison
        • Reading and Writing Assignments and Guidance
          • All will be posted on the course website
          • You should check the course website daily Optional readings and other materials
        • You are encouraged to read New York Times, Washington Post, and other sources of national and international news about topics related to Physics 280
        • You are also encouraged to bring interesting articles, TV programs, and movies to the attention of the Instructors
    • Introduction to Physics 280 – 3
        • Physics 280 is an Advanced Composition Course
          • Previous credit for a Composition course is an absolute prerequisite
          • Even if you have already met the UI Advanced Composition requirement, you must do all the writing assignments
        • You must submit four Required Essays (40% of total course score)
          • 1, 2, 3, and 4 pages in length, respectively
          • Each must be revised once
          • Both versions count equally
          • High penalty for late submissions
        • You may submit up to two Extra Credit Essays (1.5 pages ea.)
          • Each counts the same as one version of an essay
          • Scores add to total essay score until 100% is reached
    • Introduction to Physics 280 – 4
        • You must submit a Research Paper (30% of total course score)
          • On a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor
          • Your proposal must be approved on advance by the instructor
          • Your paper must address both technical and policy aspects of some issue (balance need not be 50–50)
          • Grades on first and second versions count equally
        • We strictly enforce the UI’s rules on academic integrity
          • All assignments are checked by course staff for compliance with the University’s rules on academic integrity (see the course web site for a link)
          • All writing assignments are scanned using plagiarism detection software
    • Introduction to Physics 280 – 5
        • In-Class Mid-Term Exam (10% of total course score)
          • Closed book
          • Tests factual knowledge and understanding
          • Writing quality not graded
        • Scheduled Final Exam (20% of total course score )
          • Closed book
          • Tests factual knowledge and understanding
          • Writing quality of answers not graded
          • Will emphasize material presented after midterm exam
    • Physics 280: Session 1
        • Plan for Session 2 (Thursday)
      • Questions and Announcements
      • Video “Race for the Superbomb” (PBS), Part 2
      • Discussion of the video
      • Write Required Essay 1 Version 1 (RE1v1) in class
      • Your RE1v1 must be handed to a TA before you leave class
    • Physics 280: Session 1
      • There will be an in-class writing assignment at the end of the next session (Session 2) Be sure to bring pen and paper
      • Required Essay 1, Version 1 (RE1v1) This essay must be handed in before leaving class
      • RE1v1 Writing Assignment
      • Choose one important problem related to nuclear weapons that the U.S. currently faces. It need not be the most important problem. It should involve a technological issue, a policy issue, or both. Write a 2-paragraph essay.
    • Physics 280: Session 2
        • Plan for This Session
      • Q&A, News, Comments on the Video
      • Video “Race for the Superbomb” (PBS), Part 2
      • Discussion of the video
      • Write Required Essay 1 Version 1 (RE1v1) in class
      • Your RE1v1 must be handed to a TA before you leave class
    • Physics 280: Session 2
        • News
    • Physics 280: Session 2
      • News
    • Physics 280: Session 2
      • News
    • Physics 280: Session 2 News
    • Physics 280: Session 2
      • “ Race for the Superbomb”, Part 2
    • Physics 280: Session 2
      • In-class Writing Assignment: Required Essay 1, Version 1 (RE1v1)
      • This assignment must be handed in before you leave class on Thursday
      • Choose one important problem related to nuclear weapons that the United States currently faces. It need not be the most important problem. It should involve a technological issue, a policy issue, or both. Write a 2-paragraph essay with the following structure:
        • In the first paragraph, state clearly the problem and why it is important.
        • In the second paragraph, give your recommendation for how the United States should deal with the problem.
      • Further guidance:
        • Each paragraph should begin with a strong topical sentence that tells the reader what to expect in the paragraph.
        • If your essay has more than 2 paragraphs, you will receive a score of zero!
        • Do not make the paragraphs too long. This is a 1-page (typed) essay.
        • Use active voice!
        • You will be graded on the content and clarity of your writing, not the number of words.
        • Avoid unnecessary words, especially adjectives an adverbs.
        • A 2-paragraph essay has no room for telling the reader what you will do or for repetition—just say what you want to say, once!
    • Physics 280: Session 3
        • Plan for This Session
      • Q&A, News, Comments on the Video
      • Video “Race for the Superbomb” (PBS), Part 3
      • Discussion of the video
      • “ Weapons of Mass Destruction”
      • Categories of War
    • Physics 280: Session 3
      • News
    • Physics 280: Session 3
      • “ Race for the Superbomb”, Part 3
    • Physics 280: Session 3
      • Discussion of “Race for the Superbomb”
    • “Weapons of Mass Destruction”
      • Even a simple fission device can release a million times more destructive energy per kilogram than conventional explosives.
      • Nuclear weapons are the only weapons that could —
        • Kill millions of people almost instantly
        • Destroy the infrastructure and social fabric of the United States
      • Chemical and biological weapons do not have this capacity.
      • Only nuclear weapons are “weapons of mass destruction” .
      • Only nuclear weapons threaten the survival of the U.S.
    • Radiological Weapons
      • A radiological weapon is a device that spreads radioactive material.
      • Such a weapon is a weapon of mass disruption , not mass destruction.
      • Dispersal of a substantial quantity of highly radioactive material in a city would not —
        • physically damage structures
        • immediately injure anyone
      • It could —
        • contaminate a few city blocks with highly radioactive material
        • contaminate a larger area with more weakly radioactive material
      • If explosives were used to disperse the material, the explosion could cause a small amount of damage and some injuries.
      • Depending on their exposure to radiation and how they were treated afterward —
        • 100s or perhaps even 1,000s of people could become sick
        • a larger number could have a somewhat higher probability of developing cancer or other diseases later in life
      • The main effect would be to create fear and disrupt normal activities.
    • Chemical Weapons
      • A chemical weapon is a device that releases toxic chemicals.
      • Release of toxic chemicals in a city would not cause mass destruction but would —
        • create fear
        • disrupt normal activities
        • possibly cause a large number of casualties.
      • The most deadly chemicals, such as nerve gases, are complicated to synthesize, extremely dangerous to handle, and difficult to use effectively.
      • A complex long-term effort would be needed to develop and effectively deliver such an agent.
      • If dispersed effectively, a chemical agent could contaminate a substantial area.
      • If toxic enough, it might cause 100s or even 1,000s of casualties, but it would not destroy buildings or vital infrastructure.
      • Precautions before and rapid medical treatment and decontamination after such a release would reduce substantially the number of casualties, especially for less deadly agents.
    • Biological Weapons
      • Release of a biological agent would create fear and disrupt normal activities, but would not cause mass destruction.
      • In order to cause mass casualties, substantial amounts of agents such as anthrax, smallpox, and plague would have to be converted into tiny particles and then dispersed in an aerosol.
      • Because these agents are so deadly, the required forms and the equipment needed to disperse them are difficult to come by.
      • A complex long-term effort would be needed to develop and effectively deliver such an agent.
      • A pathogen such as anthrax that does not produce contagious disease could be used to attack a particular building or area.
      • A pathogen such as smallpox that produces a deadly contagious disease would be a “doomsday” weapon, because it could kill millions of people worldwide, including the group or nation that released it.
      • In countries with an effective public health service, prompt quarantine, vaccination, and other measures could reduce greatly the number of casualties, the area affected, and the time required to get the disease under control.
      • In less-developed countries, a contagious deadly disease could be devastating..
    • Nuclear Weapons
      • In contrast to a chemical or biological agent, a “small” (10 kiloton) nuclear weapon detonated in a major city would kill more than 100,000 people and reduce tens of square kilometers to rubble almost instantly.
      • Even a crude nuclear device that fizzled would destroy many square kilometers of a city and kill tens of thousands of people.
      • A large (1 megaton) nuclear weapon could kill millions of people and destroy hundreds of square kilometers within a few seconds.
      • Those who survived a nuclear explosion would have to deal with severe physical trauma, burns, and radiation sickness. Vital infrastructure would be destroyed or damaged, and radioactivity would linger for years near and downwind of the explosion.
      • Unlike the effects of a chemical or biological weapon, the devastating effects of a nuclear weapon on a city cannot be reduced significantly by actions taken before or after the attack.
    • “Weapons of Mass Destruction”
      • In recent years some have sought to lump together as “WMD”—
        • radiological weapons (“dirty bombs”)
        • chemical weapons
        • biological agents
        • nuclear weapons
      • Broadening the definition of “WMD” and using it in this way had two main purposes:
        • To make nuclear weapons seem no different from other weapons
        • To make chemical and biological weapons seem as dangerous as nuclear weapons and therefore a justification for war or even nuclear war
      • This was politically motivated and obscures the profound differences in
        • lethality and destructiveness
        • timescales on which their effects are felt
        • the possibility of protecting against them (or not)
      • In Physics 280, we will avoid the term “WMD”. Instead, we will say what we mean: “nuclear weapons”, “chemical weapons”, or “biological weapons”.
    • Categories of Armed Conflict
      • War: Large-scale armed conflict between the military forces of two or more nation-states.
      • Preemptive War: War started to disrupt an attack that is imminent or already underway. According to international law, a war is preemptive only if (1) an attack is imminent and (2) there is no other way of preventing or stopping the attack.
      • Preventive War: War initiated in the absence of an urgent threat, with the intention of preventing a potential adversary from launching an attack at some time in the future.
      • The term “war on terror” is nonsensical, because an armed attack on an emotion (terror) is logically impossible. We will not use this term in Physics 280.
      • The term “war on terrorism” is also nonsensical, because an armed attack on a tactic (terrorism) is also logically impossible. We will not use this term in Physics 280.
      • A “war on terrorists” would be a large-scale, sustained attack on terrorists by the military forces of a nation-state; while logically possible, it is not usually the most effective way to defeat terrorists.