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Questions tagged [explosions]

For questions about explosions (rapid volume expansions associated with an enormous release of energy to the outside).

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Why is velocity proportional to radius in a spherical explosion?

While doing problems on spherically symmetric explosions, I noticed I had been intuitively assuming that velocity scales linearly with radius of the "shell" under consideration. To be more ...
Cognoscenti's user avatar
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2 answers
60 views

Will a nuclear blast just above the surface of an asteroid push it, or just heat it and maybe produce outgassing?

Will a nuclear blast just above the surface of an asteroid push/nudge it, or just heat it and maybe produce outgassing? In other words, would nukes be actually useful to deflect asteroids?
Mark Besser's user avatar
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Is the inertia of the inwards pressure of any difference in the implosion type nuclear bomb?

In a fissile nuclear bomb, such as the gadget in the trinity test, uses an explosion to create an inwards pressure to compress plutonium from a non-critical-state, into a super-critical-state. So you ...
nammerkage's user avatar
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It is possible to estimate the height of an explosion by its looks?

There's various social media postings (e.g. on reddit or on Twitter) saying this is what an exoatmospheric intercept (by an Arrow) missile looks like (I took 4 frames from the video, in case you don't ...
against very long user names's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
56 views

Why do some nuclear tests feature what seems to be an additional fireball on top?

Have a look at this frame from footage recorded during Operation Hardtack I - Test POPLAR Clearly the bit on top is extra hot, and it seems to be above the main fireball, or at least not part of the ...
user3371024's user avatar
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32 views

Relation between blast wind and overpressure

Suppose we have the ambient air pressure, density, speed of sound and blast overpressure. How can we use this data to get the speed of the blast wind? Currently I simply assume that 50% of the wave's ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
450 views

The relationship betwen Equivalent Megatons and Yield

This article defines a concept called Equivalent Megatons (EMT) and gives a formula of calculating it in terms of Yield (measured in megatons). In evaluating the destructive power of a weapons system,...
Yif's user avatar
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118 views

What does a symmetrical explosion mean in the context of preventing accidental nuclear weapon trigger?

I just watched a video entitled This Is the Real Risk We Face with Nuclear Weapons. In the video, it referenced a "broken arrow" incident where a US B-52 was carrying a nuclear weapon met ...
dazzleworth's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
111 views

How is it that underground nuclear tests create huge caverns without violating conservation of mass?

If a multi-megaton underground nuclear test 500m down in deep hard rock detonates, we’re told that it will leave a rather radioactive cavern in its wake (I’m just using Gnome as an example, I’m not ...
Dai's user avatar
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1 answer
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Explosive lenses and timing: don't the triggers have to be synchronized or do the lenses make the arrangement more forgiving?

I do not know if this is physics or engineering, but it is complex engineering I think at least. (In the implosion fission bomb first tested at Trinity and used in Nagasaki. Not the gun type.) A big ...
releseabe's user avatar
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Taylor flat plate theory with local cavitation

Background I'm studying the so-called Taylor flat plate theory. The problem considers an infinite plate which separates a region of water from a region of air. There is an incident shockwave from the ...
MOOSE's user avatar
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If a spacesuit cracks open, does the astronaut blow up due to difference of pressure? [duplicate]

Me and my friends had a discussion on emergencies in outer space. One questioned what would happen if a spacesuit ruptured and exposed an astronaut to vaccuum. One claimed that since there is no ...
okj122983's user avatar
37 votes
5 answers
8k views

What exactly is the fireball caused by a nuclear bomb?

This seems like a pretty simple question, but I can't seem to come up with a satisfactory answer. When a nuclear bomb is detonated a large fireball forms. What is the fuel that drives this fireball? ...
jordanr's user avatar
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Non-zero probability that detonating a nuclear bomb sets off atmospheric fission chain reaction [duplicate]

After watching Oppenheimer I am under the impression that there is always a non-zero probability that the detonation of an atomic/nuclear bomb will set off a chain reaction of fission in Earth’s ...
Jack Casali's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
172 views

Hyper-saturated blue colour in underwater explosions?

I've been looking at underwater explosions from various US navy shock trials: e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV0eyP4nO20 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS2whGDzmzg If you go frame by frame ...
Fhnuzoag's user avatar
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2 answers
66 views

Is one singular nucleus with no help whatsoever powerful enough? [closed]

A dude has the power to split a nucleus. But this nucleus doesn't hit anything, it just explodes, and that's that. He explodes the atom. He can let the nucleus explode, or he can absorb it. I was ...
Lucas Blackman's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

Behavior of air in a submersible implosion

I hope that this community could help to clarify some unproven but widespread claims regarding the implosion of the Titan submersible. Background: The 2023 Titan submersible incident created a wide ...
dehulst's user avatar
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1 answer
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How close to a lightning strike to be perceived at 140dBP, or to risk permanent hearing loss?

I was caught in an electric storm last night while camping. The time between flash and thunder must have been 3 seconds or less at least five times. (The nearest hill peak which could have been ...
novice's user avatar
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12 votes
5 answers
3k views

What experimental evidence shows that the "explosion" model of the Big Bang with an explosion at a single point of space is wrong?

A popular misconception in the layman public is that the Big Bang was some sort "explosion" at a single point of space, where originally all matter was concentrated and then it "...
Nadav Har'El's user avatar
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In nuclear weapons, why does levitating a pit improve compression?

Levitated pits were introduced after after solid pits. In this design the tamper is separated from the fissile with an airgap. From the Nuclear Weapon Archive: The original Fat Man pit design used a ...
Jane Bass's user avatar
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1 answer
203 views

The sign of the energy released by an explosion

On a simple system with no external force, we can calculate the energy released by an explosion as the difference of the sum of the kinetic energy before and after. With kinetic energy $K_i$ (initial) ...
xiver77's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
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Spallation neutron sources + wakefield particle accelerator + U-238 for generation of Pu-239 [closed]

I am looking to combine the principles of spallation neutron sources, wakefield particle accelerators, and neutron absorption to enable anybody to create large amounts of plutonium using relatively ...
Young Jun Lee's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
64 views

What if you ejected a cone of material from the Earth out into space?

For calculation purposes, let's say it's a cone with cone angle (at Earth's center) of 30 degrees, that extends down to the outer surface of Earth's solid inner core, and the entire mass is ejected ...
Rabadash8820's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
44 views

Modelling the Sound of a Gun's Smokeless Powder Explosion

I am seeking to synthesize the sound of a gunshot. I am aware the firing of a gun is made up of many parts, but I would like to handle the explosion of smokeless powder in the bore first. Here's what ...
mrdude's user avatar
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2 answers
143 views

How does the second stage of a fusion bomb create and maintain the needed pressure?

My understanding of the second stage of a thermonuclear bomb is as follows: X-rays from the first stage compress the "tamper", thereby igniting the fission sparkplug, and that the resulting ...
user56834's user avatar
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3 answers
163 views

Light from a nuclear explosion in space

If someone detonates a one megaton nuclear bomb in space, how far will it be visible to the naked eye? Of course, I am aware that there is no medium in space that can glow, so all the light would come ...
Timppa's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
354 views

Laser induced explosion (detonation)

I have a question involving quite the wacky (and silly) hypothetical. It's a part of an ongoing argument I'd like to settle. Of course, I have no background in physics which is why I came here, so I ...
Bram's user avatar
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1 answer
182 views

Is it safe to heat completely sealed vacuum container for a long long time?

I am currently making vacuum fryer, and was wondering this question. Normally, when you apply heat for a long time in a completely sealed container, the gas will expand, and pressure will be built and ...
mande's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is a relatively simple/heuristic formula to find the yield of an explosive given the peak overpressure and the mass of the charge? [closed]

Suppose one can experimentally determine the two parameters mentioned in the question, are they enough for a good approximation of the yield of the explosive? I am thinking there are some ways to do ...
PhysH's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Simulated nuclear blast using electric arcs

"Nuclear bombs" have some distinct associated phenomena. They produce loud bangs. They produce bright flashes of light. They produce bursts of gamma radiation. These phenomena are diagnostic ...
fertilizerspike's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
185 views

Under pressure, why do some things explode and some liquify? [closed]

For example, diesel under compression (heats and?) explodes; refrigerant under compression cools and turns from a gas into a liquid. Is it just simply that different fluids behave differently under ...
Harv's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
745 views

How powerful is the smallest possible nuclear blast? [closed]

At the risk of drawing unwanted official attention to myself, I'm curious.  It is alleged that a tactical warhead had little or no effect on six persons less than six kilometers away.  What is the ...
WGroleau's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
108 views

Describe a nuclear bomb near a black hole relative to a bomb in open space, due to $E=mc^2$

The energy of a nuclear bomb is described by $E=mc^2$. Near a black hole we have tremendous time dilation, so the rate of time and the speed of light is slower relative to open space. To an outside ...
foolishmuse's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Disappearing cola in a hot car

I unadvisably left an unopened can of cola in my car on a very hot, sunny day. The top blew off and when i recovered the can it was clean and dry inside. Except for a few sticky droplets on the ...
fertilizerspike's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
80 views

Would a dense city impact the radius of a nuclear bomb?

There’s plenty of sites out there where you can choose a nuclear bomb, pick a location, and see the radius of destruction. I noticed that the radius size of a bomb dropped in the heart of NYC is ...
8protons's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
55 views

Can nuclear bombs intended for mass destruction also be used to deflect asteroids? [closed]

As far as I know, there are two possible uses of nuclear bombs: for mass destruction and for deflecting asteroids. Can those two things be achieved with the same bombs? Or must they be designed in ...
Riemann's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Neil de Grasse Tyson on Nukes and Radiation - What the Heck Is He Talking About?

Last week Neil de Grasse Tyson was on Bill Maher's show and the topic of nuclear weapons came up. Tyson said, "modern nukes don't have the radiation problem.... They're a different kind of weapon ...
Peter Moore's user avatar
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3 answers
83 views

Does a fission bomb end up causing fusion of ambient elements or remain parts of the bomb itself?

Given the heat and pressure, is there some reason why a relatively small amount of atoms of various elements in the atmosphere or soil or in the metals used to make to bomb itself do not fuse? I do ...
releseabe's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
277 views

"Lowest yield" atomic weapon possible [closed]

I would ask that folks be tolerant of my ignorance in this field. When discussing tactical and strategic nuclear weapon yield I wonder about what is the lowest possible fission weapon is possible. A &...
BradV's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
34 views

If someone dropped a conventional bomb on a stellerator, what would happen?

Let's say we have a stellarator outputting a steady 200 GW of electrical power. If someone dropped a conventional bomb / explosive / shell on it that was just enough to breach plasma containment, how ...
cheater's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
549 views

Does water undergo thermolysis if a nuclear device detonates within it?

I caught a glimpse of the Wahoo nuclear test, an underwater test as part of Operation Hardtack I, and I wondered; that's a LOT of thermal energy going directly into the surrounding water, with this ...
Steve Mucci's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
219 views

How much do tunnels extend blast waves from explosives?

As was discussed in the comments, I've crossposted this question to here, and am cross-linking them: https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/234669/how-much-do-tunnels-extend-blast-waves-...
user343708's user avatar
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1 answer
77 views

With blast injuries, how much of the damage is from rapid decompression? [closed]

If a person or creature suffers a high explosive or low explosive blast, how much of their injuries will be due to the sudden decompression immediately after the shockwave? Sudden decompression can ...
user343708's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
91 views

Would it be possible to make a Gun type nuclear bomb using Isotopically pure Plutonium-239 [closed]

I know that it's normally not possible to make a gun type nucelar bomb using plutonium due to high rates of spontaneous fission. But that's primarily due to the plutonium 240. If you instead used ONLY ...
blademan9999's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
649 views

Would splitting an atom create an explosion if there are no suitable atoms nearby?

I've seen in many stories where someone has powerful telekinesis or something similar as a power and threaten to split an atom and create some massive nuclear explosion. From my understanding, this ...
Adam Clinton's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
79 views

How can an explosion knock debris into orbit?

In Kurzgesagt's video on the Chicxulub impact, the narrator says that some of the debris from the impact was knocked into an orbit, where it would stay for thousands of years. According to this answer,...
zucculent's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
92 views

Why did my pot filled with water spill all over the floor? [closed]

I had a cold so I was heating water in a pot, forgot that I had been heating this pot and went to sleep. Then woke up to a loud crash. The pot with the hot water has spilled all over the floor. Which ...
Linkin's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
142 views

How fast was the Uranium projectile going in the Little Boy bomb?

I realize that the reason the U-235 projectile rings in Little Boy were going at immense speeds was to prevent a predetonation, but how fast were they actually going? Is the speed directly related to ...
Alienking06's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
user204468's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
300 views

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 ...
Haaziq Jamal's user avatar

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