Minor Scale

Minor Scale
Minor Scale fireball immediately after detonation. The F-4 Phantom aircraft in the foreground is 63 feet (19 m) long.

Minor Scale was a test conducted by the United States Defense Nuclear Agency (now part of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency) involving the detonation of several thousand tons of conventional explosives to simulate the explosion of a small nuclear bomb. The purpose of the test was to evaluate the effect of nuclear blasts on various pieces of military hardware, particularly new, blast-hardened launchers for the Midgetman ballistic missile.[1]

The test took place on June 27, 1985 at the Permanent High Explosive Testing Grounds (33°37′12″N 106°28′30″W / 33.6201°N 106.4749°W / 33.6201; -106.4749) of the White Sands Missile Range in the state of New Mexico. 4.8 kilotons of ANFO explosive (ammonium nitrate and fuel oil),[2][3] equivalent to 4 kilotons of TNT,[4] were used to roughly simulate the effect of an eight kiloton air-burst nuclear device. With a total energy release of about 1.7 ×1013 joules (or 4.2 kilotons of TNT equivalent), Minor Scale was reported as "the largest planned conventional explosion in the history of the free world",[5] surpassing another large conventional explosion, the 'British Bang' disposal of ordnance on Heligoland in 1947, reported to have released 1.3 × 1013 joules of energy (about 3.2 kilotons of TNT equivalent).[6] However, The Guinness Book of Records rates Minor Scale as second to the 1947 Heligoland explosion.[citation needed]

The Q&A released as part of the effort states: "Future tests are not expected to get bigger than Minor Scale", and in particular, "There are no plans for a test called Major Scale".[7]

See also


  1. ^ Summary of Minor Scale from nuclearfiles.org
  2. ^ TECH REPS INC ALBUQUERQUE NM (1986) (PDF). Minor Scale Event, Test Execution Report. http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA269600. 
  3. ^ J. Fitzgerald (1986). Technical Report LA-10657-MS: Bistatic Phase Sounding in the Ionosphere above the Minor Scale Explosion. Los Alamos National Labs. http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/lanl/lib-www/la-pubs/00307898.pdf. 
  4. ^ Minor Scale Event Test Execution Report, p.135
  5. ^ "Test Blast: Official Portrait". http://www.nuclearfiles.org/menu/library/media-gallery/image/tredici/33.htm. 
  6. ^ Willmore, PL (1949). "Seismic Experiments on the North German Explosions, 1946 to 1947". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences (1934-1990) (JSTOR) 242 (843): 123–151. doi:10.1098/rsta.1949.0007. http://www.jstor.org/sici?sici=0080-4614(19490811)242%3A843%3C123%3ASEOTNG%3E2.0.CO%3B2-X. 
  7. ^ Minor Scale Event, Test Execution Report, p. 137.

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Minor scale — minor mi nor (m[imac] n[ e]r), a. [L., a comparative with no positive; akin to AS. min small, G. minder less, OHG. minniro, a., min, adv., Icel. minni, a., minnr, adv., Goth. minniza, a., mins, adv., Ir. & Gael. min small, tender, L. minuere to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • minor scale — n. Music any of the twelve diatonic scales distinguished from the major scale with the same keynote by a semitone after the second and seventh tones or after the second, fifth, and seventh tones …   English World dictionary

  • Minor scale — For the simulated nuclear detonation, see Minor Scale. Minor scale Qualities Number of pitch classes 7 Maximal evenness …   Wikipedia

  • minor scale — noun a diatonic scale with notes separated by whole tones except for the 2nd and 3rd and 5th and 6th • Syn: ↑minor diatonic scale • Hypernyms: ↑mode, ↑musical mode * * * 1. Also called harmonic minor scale. a scale having half steps between the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Minor Scale — Feuerball des Minor Scale Tests direkt nach der Detonation. Als Größenvergleich eine F 4 Phantom im Vordergrund Der Minor Scale Test war eine der bislang größten durchgeführten konventionellen Explosionen. Der am 27. Juni 1985 auf der White Sands …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • minor scale — 1. Also called harmonic minor scale. a scale having half steps between the second and third, fifth and sixth, and seventh and eighth degrees, with whole steps for the other intervals. 2. Also called melodic minor scale. a scale having the third… …   Universalium

  • minor scale — noun A diatonic scale based upon a relative major scale by changing its tonic note by three semitones. See Also: minor key, modal scale …   Wiktionary

  • minor scale — /maɪnə ˈskeɪl/ (say muynuh skayl) noun a musical scale whose third tone forms a minor third with the root …  

  • minor scale — mi′nor scale′ n. mad a musical scale having half steps between the second and third, fifth and sixth, and sometimes seventh and eighth degrees • Etymology: 1885–90 …   From formal English to slang

  • Hungarian minor scale — The Hungarian minor scale is a type of combined musical scale. It is akin to the harmonic minor scale, except that it bears a raised fourth. Its tonal center is slightly ambiguous, due to the large number of half steps. Also known as Double… …   Wikipedia

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