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37
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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 ...
36
votes
2answers
3k views

Cause for spikes in trinity bomb test

In Richard Rhodes' book, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, I was reading about the Trinity nuclear test. High speed photos were taken and this one is from <1ms after the detonation. The book mentions ...
30
votes
6answers
6k views

Is there any aspect of an explosion resulting from a nuclear weapon test that cannot be simulated using super computers?

This Washington Post news article states that with the advent of computer simulation of nuclear tests, live tests are no longer needed. Generally speaking there are 3 aspects of an explosion ...
26
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
22
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
842 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
244 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
2k 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
734 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
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 ...
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
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
8k 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
4k 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
1k 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
310 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
226 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
493 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
284 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
84 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
100 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
371 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
957 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
205 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
1k 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
1answer
71 views

Fission bomb: How much of it burns?

I am wondering about measured data on how efficient fission bombs were say the first ones. Since the fission in chain reaction releases large amounts of energy in fractions of a second, I imagine ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Estimate post-shock temperature of nuclear explosion

I was recently shown a very interesting sequence of images depicting the expansion of the fireball of Trinity explosion, a nuclear weapon's test conducted in New Mexico in 1945. I read here that ...
3
votes
3answers
523 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
81 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
125 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
558 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
386 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
1answer
309 views

Why is pyrite so explosive when heated? [closed]

I watched this video where fool's gold was heated using a hydrogen torch. The results were surprisingly explosive. I was expecting it to just melt into a puddle. Is there something special about ...
2
votes
2answers
221 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
7k 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
317 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
2answers
123 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
71 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
3answers
402 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What would happen if a hydrogen bomb were to explode in Saturn's atmosphere?

Purely hypothetical since any kind of testing in atmosphere/space is banned by international legislation/agreement. The humans have already bombed Luna so ... what could be expected to happen on ...
2
votes
1answer
185 views

From which height the effect of nuclear bomb will be Greater?

Well I was wondering like during war some of them drop nuclear bomb on ground and then it explode and we see a huge blast which causes so much of destruction but my question is that is it possible ...
2
votes
1answer
267 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
137 views

Is there a difference in the energy output of a nuclear fission reaction as opposed to fusion?

For example, if I split a Helium atom will I get the same amount of energy as when I fuse Hydrogen into Helium? If there is a difference, what will be the difference (in general not according to ...
1
vote
2answers
629 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
1answer
41 views

Atomic bomb explosion

What are those vertical filaments that form in the air whenever an atomic bomb is detonated? They are clearly visible in this movie at 3:08.
1
vote
2answers
174 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
233 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 ...