Postprint version. Published in American Journal of Physics, Volume 51, Issue 3, March 1, 1983, pages 215-225. © 1983 American Association of Physics Teachers. The definitive version is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.13273.
Approximate numerical estimates are developed in order to quantify a variety of aspects of the arms race. The results of these calculations are consistent with either direct observations or with more sophisticated calculations. This paper will cover some of the following aspects of the arms race: (1) the electromagnetic pulse (EMP); (2) spy satellites; (3) ICBM accuracy; (4) NAVSTAR global positioning satellites; (5) particle and laser beam weapons; (6) the neutron bomb; and (7) war games.