What exactly would detonating a tiny speck of nuclear bomb do to a massive runaway fusion explosion that has been at it for billions of years accomplish?
The fusion that occurs inside the core of the sun is proton proton fusion that is only possible due to the immense pressure enabling fusion to occur at lower temperatures than normal due to quantum tunneling. Fusion from quantum tunneling also occurs fairly slowly. If you used a thermonuclear explosion to ignite fusion in the suns hydrogen using heat you could possibly trigger a fast fusion reaction using the hydrogen in the sun as the third stage of the nuke.
Just build a Nova Bomb & blow up the sun. Actually not that hard.
The trick would be getting a nuke to penetrate deep enough into the sun’s photo-sphere without being vaporized by the high temperatures and pressure. The explosion then needs to be powerful enough to cause a chain reaction in the hydrogen of the sun that propagates faster than the shock wave from the explosion. This could only be done using a thermonuclear device which would need to be at least 0.5 MT
The white paper listed below is quite informative, if very technical.
It would require massive advances in technology though from current levels to get a thermonuclear device far enough into the photosphere of the sun that it has enough hydrogen around to maintain a chain reaction at a fast enough speed to spread faster than the shock wave from the explosion. Very very very difficult, but yes, it may be possible to blow up the sun to a certain extent. This would be a Nova however, not a Supernova. We would only know if it is viable after significant supercomputer modelling has been done, and then it may take decades or longer to be able to develop the technology to deliver a thermonuclear device to a deep enough depth within the suns photosphere. It may not be possible with our star but it seems likely that some starts in the galaxy would be quite susceptible to this.
Brown Dwarf stars would probably be much easier targets and by the time we have the technology to visit other stars we would possibly have the technology to create effective Nova Bombs for use on certain stars like Brown Dwarf’s.
“The Sun contains ~74% hydrogen by weight. The isotope hydrogen-1 (99.985% of hydrogen in nature) is a usable fuel for fusion thermonuclear reactions. This reaction runs slowly within the Sun because its temperature is low (relative to the needs of nuclear reactions). If we create higher temperature and density in a limited region of the solar interior, we may be able to produce self-supporting detonation thermonuclear reactions that spread to the full solar volume. This is analogous to the triggering mechanisms in a thermonuclear bomb. Conditions within the bomb can be optimized in a small area to initiate ignition, then spread to a larger area, allowing producing a hydrogen bomb of any power. In the case of the Sun certain targeting practices may greatly increase the chances of an artificial explosion of the Sun. This explosion would annihilate the Earth and the Solar System, as we know them today. “
So, I was looking at super-materials for spacecraft construction (Hypothetical future hard-science).
For current levels of tech I was initially thinking Boron Carbide because its strong, lightweight & has fairly high temperature resistance (melts at 2,763 °C (5,005 °F; 3,036 K)) & good neutron absorption.
However there are actually a load of other options.
Silicon carbide is also quite good but a bit heavier. Its also a semiconductor. Its also used in mirrors.
This may prove to be a fantastic coating for railgun projectiles & gun barrels.
From looking at the full range of materials I think Boron Nitride Nanotubes would be an ideal hull material with perhaps a titanium carbide or Titanium Diboride on areas subjected to super high levels of heat. Cubic Boron Nitride could also be used for windows while maintaining phenomenal strength.
I had a look through most of the super-materials out there and I think these are the best ones, let me know if I have missed any. I think the ideal qualities of any super material is, strength, temperature resistance, impact resistance, ideally the ability to self heal, resistance to radiation, plus some other factors like thermal/electric/magnetic qualities could be quite good.