Nuke Effects for iPad

In 1960s, when the Cold War was at its peak and the world's two superpowers were locked in a nuclear arms race, the U.S. Government Printing Office published a handy slide rule for estimating the effects of nuclear weapon explosions. It was available for $1.00 to anyone interested in "the study of effects data derived from nuclear weapons tests and from experiments designed to duplicate various characteristics of nuclear weapons".

Since then, many things have changed and this slide rule remains a relic of the past. Having become a collector's item, it is only available for a handy sum on auction sites and as a rather impractical web-based version. Until now.

This app is a faithful (although—for greater ease of reading—somewhat oversized) digital replica of the real thing. By responding to your touch much like the original plastic version, it brings this museum piece back to life.

With it you can evaluate 28 different effects of nuclear weapons, of which 13 relate to blast, 5 to thermal radiation, 1 to initial nuclear radiation, 2 to early fallout, 6 to crater dimensions, and 1 to fireball dimensions. Most of the parameters are presented as functions of range and yield.

The original slide rule was based on a book "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons". This publication (which is in public domain, as well as the slide rule itself) is available for download as a PDF.

Scanned disc images, used in this app, were obtained from the Fourmilab website, which also provides a web version of the slide rule that inspired this app, together with a document, reproducing the original slide rule instructions manual with added illustrations.

For additional information on how to use the slide rule, consult either of the following: