This seems a stupid question i know but can't really understand the physics behind it. Let's imagine i'm 5 meters away from a bomb and it explodes. Putting apart the high speed projectiles behaving as bullets and the heat released by the explosion, what does actually hurt me? why do people get push back like on movies? I'm imagining air expanding quite fast in my direction and then it contours my body and keeps expanding... My guess is it has to be wrong other wise not quite seeing how my body get hurt or I get pushed😁😁

Thanks, and sorry if bad English here...

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    $\begingroup$ Moving air can exert a force on your body, you can feel it every time the wind blows. $\endgroup$ – The Photon Mar 23 '16 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ 1 kg of explosives has a volume of, say, half a liter. The moment this becomes a gas the volume is still half a liter, while at 1 bar the volume would be 1 cubic meter. So, a crude estimate of the pressure would be 2000 bar. $\endgroup$ – Count Iblis Mar 23 '16 at 20:08
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    $\begingroup$ Explosives designed to kill people are usually made to fragment into suitably sized shrapnel. It's the shrapnel that causes the most devastation over longer distances. This is true for military ordinance and grenades as well as for terrorist bombs. The shock wave of the explosion is the smaller problem, although that, too, will be deadly over short distances by rupturing tissue. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Mar 23 '16 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ Think of Queen & Bowie: Pressure, pushing down on me. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Mar 23 '16 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos Or Billy Joel: And you cannot handle PRESSURE. $\endgroup$ – Bill N Mar 24 '16 at 2:54

Remember that the force exerced by something hitting you relates to its momentum, not only his mass. A gun bullet launched to you by hand or by gun does not cause the same harm. Falling on water from very high cause more harm as well. So tomatos, or air, can harm if moving fast enough, and/or push you away.

Beside, wind or the water current created by a wave apply to you continuously, smoothly increasing, making you accelerate progressively and thus feeling the increments rather than the totallity. But a burst cause you the total acceleration at once. (Note also that it also propagates as such inside your body, crushing or streching the fragile biologic tissues appart).


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