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36
votes
3answers
7k views

In atomic bomb tests under ground, where does the volume of the rocks go?

Underground atomic bomb tests are done in a deep, sealed hole. Not all underground tests eject material on the surface. In this case, they are only noticeable as earthquakes, according to german ...
26
votes
4answers
5k views

Is a bomb's shockwave strong enough to kill? [closed]

I'm watching a movie, The Hurt Locker, and the first scene shows an IED explosion which kills a soldier. Of course movies don't depict explosions with maximum realism, but I noticed the debris and ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does a nuclear explosion have directionality?

It just occurred to me that almost all images I've seen of the (in)famous mushroom cloud show a vertical column rising perpendicular to the ground and a horizontal planar ring parallel to the ground. ...
17
votes
3answers
803 views

Why do nuclear bombs make a mushroom?

Atomic bombs make mushroom. It's well-known and we've seen many images of atomic experiments around the world. My question is, what causes the mushroom shape? Do conventional explosives like TNT and ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

What determines the pitch of an explosion?

It's bonfire weekend here in the UK, and everybody is intent on shooting fireworks. I was wondering, what determines the pitch of the sound produced by an explosion? The sound has clearly a ...
13
votes
1answer
228 views

Are “echo” explosions near Earth realistic?

Watch the simulation below for better visualization. Suppose we create an explosion, for example at $2R_{Earth}$ from the center of Earth. Just before the explosion was set off, the explosive was at ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do meteors explode?

A report on the Chelyabinsk meteor event earlier this year states Russian meteor blast injures at least 1,000 people, authorities say My question is Why do meteors explode? Do all meteors ...
10
votes
4answers
646 views

Explosion in space

I'm curious about what happens if an explosive substance detonates in space. On Earth, I guess a good chunk of the energy released is carried away by shock waves in the atmosphere. But in space, the ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

If you throw dynamite into a pool of lava, will it explode or melt?

I was playing a table-top rpg with a friend. It was set... well it was pretty weird, so I won't get into it. Suffice it to say the bad guy had a stick of dynamite and we were on a volcano. I hit the ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

2013 Russian meteor event, Sonic Boom or Explosion Boom?

In the lastest meteor event in Russia there was a big BOOM heard long after the meteor had passed. In this youtube video we can see at 4:30 the Meteor passing.. then hearing the BOOM at 7:00 , 150 ...
7
votes
1answer
783 views

How does nuclear war look like from space?

As today's the 29th anniversary of possible Armageddon, had Mutual Assured Destruction taken place, with the USA and USSR exchanging most of their nuclear arsenal, what would someone In low earth ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Question about a nuclear bomb test photo

What are those white lines connecting the ground to the sky on the left side of this photo? I've see these before in the nuclear bomb test films too. They're apparently already in place upon ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How many grams of explosive are equivalent to the energy in a battery?

In the movie Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Arnie's fuel cells were twice shown to be extremely devastating when their stored energy was released. In real life, how many grams of, say, gunpowder ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

short circuit an alkaline battery

i'm not doing anything related to physics, but i'm just curious : What really happen when i short circuit an alkaline battery ? some article in the net shown that fire/explosion can be happened when ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Do brick walls effectively protect against ionizing radiation from a nuclear explosion?

Of course it depends on the distance and the amount of radiation, so let's say its about 10,000 Rad. Now, can wall made of brick protect someone behind it from such radiation ?
5
votes
1answer
846 views

What is the name of the temperature limit beyond which an explosion will form a mushroom cloud?

Many months ago I saw a picture that was taken many years ago of an explosion, possibly in the Atlanta area. If I recall the explosion was caused by fuel in railroad cars. However, the explosion ...
4
votes
1answer
199 views

How much pressure would be needed to contain a 1 gigaton nuclear bomb explosion within a sphere of one meter radius?

How much pressure would be needed to contain the largest human exploitable nuclear bomb within a sphere of one radius? Also would it be possible to create a magnetic field that controlled some ...
4
votes
3answers
203 views

What's driving the bucket up?

Just saw this cool video from Plymouth University, which I actually found through Matthen's blog. They fill a plastic bottle with liquid nitrogen, screw the cap on, drop it in a bucket full of warm ...
4
votes
3answers
300 views

What was the amount of energy released in the 9/11 terrorist attacks?

I read somewhere on the internet that the amount of energy released by the terrorist attacks on the twin towers on 9/11 should have been of the order of 100 tons of TNT. This number surprised me, ...
4
votes
1answer
271 views

How can you tell a model explosion from the real thing?

Movies and TV shows frequently show buildings being bombed, cars blowing up, etc. Frequently these are really explosions of miniatures filmed up close. Aside from the speed that the explosion ...
4
votes
2answers
64 views

Determining average number of fragments created upon explosion

Suppose you're analyzing some 3 dimensional object of any sort of shape, and this object explodes from some internal force (e.g, like a grenade). How would you go about determining the average number ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Cellular structure in solid phase detonations

For gaseous and liquid detonations, the detonation propagates by the energy released at the triple-points which form a cellular structure. This structure is traced using a soot foil during ...
4
votes
2answers
263 views

Initial pressure of explosion

I would like to know, if given a TNT equivalent of explosive (or its Energy) is it possible to determine what would be the initial pressure that will be the result of that explosion ? To be more ...
3
votes
2answers
806 views

Antimatter bomb

I stumbled upon this wikipedia article on antimatter weaponry. Being greatly appalled by the sad fact that large sums of money are being wasted on this, I could not stop myself from thinking for a ...
3
votes
3answers
151 views

Why do nuclear weapons create a blast wave?

As far as I know, in a nuclear explosion the energy is released in the form of radiation (neutrons, gamma rays, alpha particles and electrons), light and heat. There isn't a chemical reaction that ...
3
votes
3answers
478 views

Conservation of momentum and energy in an explosion

One simple problem is physics is to determine the mechanical energy difference after an explosion. To do this, you must assume that momentum is conserved because in a explosion you have internal ...
3
votes
3answers
323 views

How could I determine the temperature at which an egg explodes

A while back, some friends and I pondered "what will happen to an egg if placed very near a campfire". So we placed an egg on a grill, approximately 12 inches above a real campfire. Something like ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

What are the minimum necessary conditions for a static shock to ignite wood or grain dust in the air and cause an explosion or fire?

Every once in a while I hear in the news that a grain elevator exploded and burned down because of a static shock that ignited the dust in the air. I also hear about the danger of the same thing ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Power of Shockwaves

My question is about shockwaves and their power when they are created/how do they lose their power? Let's say that we have ground 0 with 10 grams of TATP on it. The detonation velocity of TATP is ...
3
votes
2answers
469 views

Burning alcohol vapor

Let's imagine a plastic container, sealed closed. We fill half of it with alcohol, then we generate a spark. The question is: can the mixture of alcohol and air burn, or do we need a hole to let air ...
2
votes
3answers
241 views

Nukes with cup-sized mushroom clouds

A few sequential questions: Is it possible for a nuclear explosion to be small enough to produce a 250-ml (one cup) mushroom cloud? If so, how much uranium would that take? How close to the ...
2
votes
2answers
151 views

What's the largest mushroom cloud possible from a coffee cup/grenade sized nuclear bomb?

Assuming the coffee cup is $16$oz = $1$lb = $0.4536$kg or $ \sim 450$mL I did a quick comparison to the W54 assuming there was a linear ratio (wishful thinking perhaps), and got it to be around 8m ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

Basic explosion physics - determining force

I'm using a game engine that has a ton of physics stuff built in. What I am currently trying to do is to simulation an explosion with F force in an x,y coordinate system and figure out how other items ...
2
votes
3answers
262 views

Armageddon prevention

I was watching the movie Armageddon and it made me think of a few things. We would probably not need to send a crew to blow the asteroid in two, I think we could still send a warhead with enough power ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Trying to understand explosions

I’m trying to understand the nature and amount of energy/force generated in an explosion. Take, for example, the explosion that results from the complete annihilation of one gram of matter, releasing ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

How to meaningfully describe the practical effectiveness of one large bomb versus a series of many small bombs, all else constant? [closed]

Background: Given two sets of conventional bombs (constituted of fuel which explodes by way of chemical decomposition reaction) : Set 1 - One shell of a given volume encasing a given amount of fuel. ...
2
votes
1answer
202 views

decay time for a blast wave

The blast wave that is formed as a result of an explosion has some import parameters. One of them is the peak pressure which is basically the pressure measured when the blast wave arrives at a given ...
1
vote
2answers
307 views

What is physics behind of explosion under Atmospheric pressure?

An explosion is a rapid increase in volume and release of energy in an extreme manner. A blast wave in fluid dynamics is the pressure and flow resulting from the deposition of a large amount of energy ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

What causes destruction in the first few seconds of a bomb explosion?

When a bomb explodes (or a grenade, mine, etc.), what is it that causes the most damage in the first 1 or 2 seconds of the explosion and culminates in the destruction of nearby objects? Is it the high ...
1
vote
2answers
184 views

Can a bullet leave a gun and tumble to the ground?

This question seems to have been asked a few times in different configurations, but none of them answer my variation. I've struggled to understand this for nearly 15 years and had conflicting answers ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

Explosive energy in a container [closed]

What happens when the explosive energy of a grenade or a bomb is contained in a container, if you will, and no energy can be released through the container in the form of heat or sound etc...? Just ...
1
vote
2answers
268 views

What decides the velocity of a bullet coming out from the gun?

I was concerned about what determines the speed of the bullet coming out from the gun. Is it determined by the strength of the explosive or how fast does it burn up? For example if we take the same ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Tsunami effects of a nuclear explosion

Sea surface nuclear explosion arouses a tidal wave of water. How does this kind of wave compare to naturally occurring tsunamis? E.g. what would be the potential of a 100KT bomb 100km away the from ...
1
vote
1answer
315 views

A bomb can be made to explode or implode? [closed]

A bomb can be made to implode or explode. Can one be made to explode while creating a vortex at the same time?
1
vote
1answer
260 views

Is there a sound that explodes gunpowder? [closed]

Is there a certain frequency of sound/noise that will cause gunpowder to explode?
1
vote
0answers
17 views

Fermi's yield estimation of the Trinity Test [duplicate]

In Enrico Fermi's eyewitness account of the Trinity nuclear test in 1945, he gives a brief description of a method that he used to estimate the blast energy of the test: About 40 seconds after the ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Does the force of releasing the latch of a spring-latch contraption affects the force generated by the spring?

There is this contraption in my class, where a rod is attached to a latch and a spring. By pulling the latch back behind a piece of metal, the latch is secured, the rod if pulled back and the spring ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

What does a long strip of explosive sound like when detonated?

By long, I mean something like (say) 2 km of detcord. Or perhaps multiple close spaced charges in a line over that distance, simultaneously detonated. Close up a single piece of explosive produces a ...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

How big does a natural gas compressor station have to be, so as its possible explosion to produce power equal to that of a nuclear bomb [closed]

I live in Greece and a natural gas compressor station is going to be constructed within a radius of 3km. That got me wondered. Can a possible explosion produce equal power with the little boy, the ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

How to find momentum of different pieces of the same object after it explodes?

If a stationery object explodes into a specific number of pieces due to internal force, how can I find the momentum of these pieces?