Questions tagged [explosions]

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Is there a way to calculate the blast radius of an explosion starting with the yield of the bomb? [closed]

I am working on a video game with missile-oriented combat, and I would like to input a yield for a missile instead of directly giving it a blast radius, and have the program calculate the blast radius ...
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1 vote
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Explosion of a projectile

The question is as follows: A projectile is moving at 20 m/s at its highest point, where it breaks into equal parts due to an internal explosion. One part moves vertically up at 30 m/s with respect ...
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2 answers
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Could anything ever be brighter than the sun in our sky?

Is there anything that could explode or exist that would appear brighter than the sun in our sky? There was that meteor in Russia in 2013 where it appears brighter than the sun. However, is there a ...
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What would happen if an atomic bomb exploded on a nuclear power plant?

Would the effect be different than if the nuclear power plant were bombeb with traditional explosives? Would the atomic bomb neutralise any potential radioactive effect of the obliteration of the ...
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How would high-explosives interact with the shockwaves around a hypersonic weapon?

This is a proxy for a question from a friend. I'm an aerospace engineer so I have some domain-knowledge on compressible flow but less about missile design and even less about explosives. I also ...
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Conservation of momentum and explosions

I am working on a problem involving a projectile launched at an angle from the ground at some initial velocity and then explodes into 3 parts after reaching its maximum height and they want us to find ...
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7 answers
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Is submersion in a canal a good way to shelter from a nuclear strike?

I live 1.5 miles from the center of a city in a nuclear-armed country, and an adversarial country has just put its nuclear forces on high alert during a time of extraordinary geopolitical tension. I ...
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What would happen if you left Earth and then it was destroyed? (Potential energy and thermodynamics)

So I did some research on magnetic generators and what kind of energy magnets loose when they move something. Turns out magnets loose potential energy (you need to expend energy to get the object ...
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A gram of antimatter reacting with a gram of matter releases Hiroshima-like energy, but is that true in practice?

My understanding is that a particle must meet its antiparticle. So if you a one-gram cube of, say, anti-gold and shot it into a one-gram cube of normal gold, how would you get the particles to come in ...
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Could a nuclear bomb be used as a replacement for gunpowder in a giant cannon made out of diamond?

The question is obviously outlandish, but I'm curious about the napkin-math involved in estimating this. I don't know much material science and seems like an interesting exercise. If I could carve a ...
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Why does a gunpowder makes sound when it burns but not like a candle?

My class teacher asked this question, when a fire-cracker ( which has gunpowder in it) burns, it explodes and make a sound while when a candle is burnt it doesn't, and I also want to know why does ...
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How do you contain a nuclear explosion? [closed]

What properties would a material need to contain a nuclear explosion (I'll go with the Tsar Bomba) such that it has no effect on outside conditions. For specificity I'll go with: Ultimate tensile ...
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Is it possible securely detonate a hydrogen bomb inside a very, very thick iron armor to get the armor only rise its temperature and not break apart? [closed]

Is it possible securely detonate a small hydrogen bomb inside a very, very thick iron armor, preferabely a sphere, to get the armor only rise its temperature and not break apart? Would it be a hazzard ...
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Dust cloud expansion [closed]

Can someone tell how will the velocity vary in this spherically symmetric cloud with some intuitive reasoning, explanation of situation and mathematical calculations if possible? I was expecting it to ...
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What is the risk of self-detonation or meltdown of unattended nuclear arsenal? [closed]

Assume some missiles or bombs left unattended for at least 1,000 years. Chance of self-detonation? After playing with Powder Toy a bit, started me thinking: if Polonium and Americium are break-down ...
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Orbital collisions? [duplicate]

Russia destroyed a satellite. TV news says the ISS will be at risk of the debris every ~90 minutes. Seems to me that for the ISS to run into the debris, it must be going faster than the debris. But ...
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Is it plausible that the explosion of a satellite in an orbit 65km above the ISS will not threaten the ISS?

(Not sure if this is better-suited to the Astronomy SE or Space Exploration SE) Recently in the news was Russia using an anti-satellite weapon to destroy a Soviet-era satellite. The destruction ...
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Conservation of momentum despite having external force

Suppose a box of mass $m$ is thrown at angle $\theta$ with velocity $v$. At the topmost point,the box explodes into two identical smaller boxes. One of the boxes falls straight to the ground at that ...
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Steam explosion and how to prevent it while cooking [closed]

I hope this is not off-topic. I have googled for background info but didn't find much on cause and prevention. So the question to some experts. The following accident just happened. I would like to ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What would happen if 63 $\rm TJ$ in form of superheated plasma would released abrutly?

Suppose that we managed to heat a some gas Xenon so that it contains 63 TJ of energy in the form of superheated plasma. What would happen if it is released abruptly of their contention chamber? Is of ...
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Are nuclear weapons energy negative?

Not sure if this belongs here, Chemistry, History, or some other Stack Exchange site, but I'll start it here and welcome migration to a different site if appropriate. In doing some reading on the ...
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Expanding matter from exploded asteroid

Suppose an asteroid explodes, into a spherically symmetrical cloud, of radius R, mass M, and surface receding velocity V (normal to the edge of the cloud), initially the density is radially uniform. ...
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4 answers
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Fission Weapon Mechanism and Critical Mass

In the image we see the interior design of the Little Boy atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. There are two cylinders composed of uranium, a hollow cylinder at the top which will slide down to merge ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Gravitational force at the center of a solid sphere with mass?

Interestingly, I had this question after watching the first Austin Powers movie. I tried searching this question on other sites, but I couldn't find a conclusive, mathematical answer. Dr. Evil ...
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What is the expected effect of a Tsar-scale bomb at the antipodal point of the detonation site?

Background Obviously, being next to explosions is bad. The farther away one is from the explosion, the larger the hemisphere of he shock wave is, and so the more the energy from the explosion is ...
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What caused the 3rd shock wave in this nuclear explosion?

In 1958, the United States conducted a series of nuclear tests at the Pacific Proving Grounds in the Marshall Islands as part of Operation Hardtrack. In some recently remastered footage of the Wahoo ...
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When using explosives can the effect of an obstacle exceed the force of removing the obstacle?

I am talking about, for example, debris in a gun barrel causing the barrel to explode. I would think that if the debris were less resistant than the metal of the barrel, then the expanding gases would ...
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Was it possible for Little Boy to have predetonated and fizzled?

In the Manhattan project they originally planned to use plutonium for their gun-type bomb and gave the design the name "Thin Man". However it was later determined that reactor-bred Pu-239 ...
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Project Orion -- why was shock absorber necessary?

Is the reason for the absorber to reduce the force and if so, why not detonate the bomb farther away or make the bombs smaller? It seems to me the shock absorber is a moving part that it would be good ...
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1 vote
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May a star explosion be in that way weak that the expelled material gradually recollapse and form the star again?

May a star explosion be in that way weak that the expelled material gradually recollapse and form the star again? My question is not about would that explosion leave a neutron star as a remnant but ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Containing a nuclear explosion in space

Suppose we have a nuke as strong as tsar bomb in space. can we somehow contain the explosion? the same way we contain plasma in fusion reactors.
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9 votes
5 answers
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Why does a blast wave travel faster than sound?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blast_wave#Characteristics_and_properties says: "A blast wave travels faster than the speed of sound and the passage of the shock wave usually lasts only a few ...
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Why does the momentum of the shrapnel of a resting bomb remain zero after the explosion?

The law of conservation of momentum says that the momentum sum of a closed system before an interaction of its objects remains the same after an interaction of its objects. If an astronaut in space ...
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Are the presense of neutron reflecters the only difference between a hydrogen bomb and a neutron bomb? [closed]

From what I understand, a hydrogen bomb usually has neutron reflectors, like graphite, to increase the yield of the explosion. A neutron bomb does not have those reflectors. Are there any other ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Why would packing molecules too close together cause an explosion?

I just watched this video, and around 75 seconds they say if king Midas touched a duck, and all of its atoms gained the necessary protons/neutrons/electrons to become gold, the duck would be 33x more ...
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Kinetic energy produced in an explosion

If there is a train moving at 2 m/s with a cannon attached to it loaded with a ball, and then the ball is launched from the train, how would one find the kinetic energy produced by the explosion if ...
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Is the weapon from GI Joe: Retaliation possible and accurate? [closed]

In the movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation a kinetic bombardment weapon was used to destroy several major world cities. Is that weapon possible and if so, is the destruction accurate? Note: I asked this ...
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Shaped charges/explosive lenses and implosion in the Fat Man design for the Nuclear Bomb: how do these actually cause implosion? [closed]

This is gone into at some length but not much detail (that I could understand) in "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" by Rhodes. The basic story is that the Americans were having trouble getting ...
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6 answers
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What causes the bucket to launch in the air?

In this video potassium is dropped into the bucket and it reacts with the water present in the bucket causing an explosion within the bucket itself. I don't see how an internal explosion makes the ...
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5 answers
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Could you theoretically build an nuclear-blast-proof safe? [closed]

Some bulletproof safes are sturdy enough to handle grenade impacts. Could we theoretically make an analogous atomic-proof safe that will handle something like an Hydrogen Bomb? It doesn't matter the ...
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1 answer
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Concept of energy created from explosion

I have seen people talking about energy of an explosion in movies. However, I did not understand what they mean. So I decided to do some thought experiment on it. I will lay down my thoughts and what ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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High pressure collapsing time of Water, Air or any medium by size and speed of waves

Explosion in water ( air ) creates high pressure, and expands water ( air ), and after that it collapses back. How to calculate time or speed of collapsing, if wave propagation speed of water or air ...
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3 answers
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Is energy always a constant when the momentum is constant? [duplicate]

How is it that when momentum is constant, energy always stays a constant. For Example :- if $P = 0$ kinetic energy will also be 0. But in a explosion (that momentum is conserved) where the object was ...
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1 answer
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Shaped Charge Physics

It seems that I have a problem understanding the physics behind shaped charge. I was told that shaped charges are the way they are because a hollow conical shape in the middle of an explosive will ...
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13 votes
4 answers
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Why did the apple explode when spun very fast?

This new video from the slow-mo guys captures the explosion of an apple when it is rotated really fast (roughly $109$ rotations per second). But can someone explain me why did it explode? Can we ...
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Is it possible to create a shockwave gun (Like in Minority Report) [closed]

I love the gun in Minority Report. It seems to send a shockwave that can throw people and objects back. The gun has a rotating mechanism that triggers the action and loads a charge. Here's it in ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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What prevents fissile materials from fully undergoing nuclear fission?

As I have realised, most of the Uranium and Plutonium inside an Atomic Bomb do not actually fission together, even if the critical mass is used. In fact, for Little Boy, only 1.09 kg out of 64 kg of ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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How thick would a steel container have to be to withstand a thermonuclear detonation?

We have a completely uniform, hollow sphere made of high-strength steel. Inside this sphere a Tsar Bomba (RDS-220) is detonated. How thick (ballpark figure) would the sphere need to be to withstand ...
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Was plutonium produced at Hiroshima?

As I understand, the Nagasaki plutonium was made in nuclear reactors by bombarding U238 with neutrons. There was about 20% of U238 in the gun-type U235 bomb at Hiroshima. Was this for reasons, or was ...
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Would an atomic bomb detonate a uranium stockpile? [closed]

If a uranium atomic bomb directly hit a stockpile of weapons grade uranium, would the chain reaction also detonate the stockpile? what about a stockpile of nuclear reactor fuel rods? what about a ...
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