Science of Fallout's BRUTAL Opening Sequence

The video discusses the nuclear science behind the Vault Boy pose from the Fallout series, which suggests a safe distance from a nuclear blast based on the size of the mushroom cloud in relation to the outstretched thumb. Through simulations and analysis, it is revealed that the Vault Boy rule of thumb is not reliable for determining safe distances from nuclear blasts, as factors such as radiation, blast wave, and thermal radiation travel different distances and pose various risks.

The video discusses the nuclear science behind the iconic Vault Boy pose from the Fallout series, which is believed to indicate if someone is too close to a nuclear blast. The concept is that if the mushroom cloud appears larger than the outstretched thumb, then the person is too close to the blast. The danger of nuclear weapons lies in their blast, thermal, and radiative effects, each posing various risks such as blunt force trauma, burns, and radiation poisoning. However, determining a safe distance from a nuclear blast involves considering the range of each energy mode involved.

The order of energy modes that travel the furthest after a nuclear detonation is radiation, blast wave, and thermal radiation, with thermal radiation traveling the furthest due to the atmosphere being transparent to visible light. The video uses a website called Nukemap by Alex Wellerstein to simulate different-sized nuclear blasts, such as those from the Hiroshima bomb and the US Castle Bravo fusion bomb. By calculating safe distances and mushroom cloud heights, the video aims to determine if the Vault Boy rule of thumb is accurate in indicating a safe distance from a nuclear blast.

The analysis reveals that the Vault Boy rule of thumb is not reliable, as the mushroom cloud of a Hiroshima-sized nuclear weapon would be much larger than the thumb at a safe distance. The rule is also ineffective for avoiding thermal radiation, which travels at the speed of light, giving no time to check and run for cover. The video emphasizes that while the rule of thumb fits the dark humor of the Fallout series, it is ultimately useless in a real nuclear scenario and should not be relied upon for safety measures.

Additionally, the video touches on the inefficiency of surface bursts in creating fallout compared to air bursts, which are more effective in causing damage to cities and populations. The importance of efficiency in nuclear attacks is highlighted, where adversaries would prioritize air bursts over surface bursts for maximum impact on infrastructure and population. Overall, the video provides a scientific analysis debunking the Vault Boy rule of thumb and emphasizes the complexities involved in determining safe distances from nuclear blasts.