Questions tagged [explosions]

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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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Self-gravitational Energy [closed]

Consider a spherical homogeneous cloud of mass $M$ made by an explosion. Due to energy received from the explosion, it is expanding and the expansion is spherically symmetric. At an instant its radius ...
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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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Low-altitude EMP

Can a low-altitude EMP exist from a detonated nuclear weapon or is the higher altitude required for propagation of the relevant fields necessary to induce destructive currents?
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Barrel length influence in muzzle velocity

I want to find out what is the muzzle velocity of a bullet. For that I would need to know the force applied to the bullet by the expanding gas of the exploded powder. If $P = F/A$ then $F = PA$. I ...
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Hydrogen & Noble Gases in a Microwave

I was watching some Youtube videos of people microwaving helium and neon in a microwave. I could not find anything showing hydrogen in a microwave. However, as I was watching the videos I noticed ...
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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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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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What would happen if you dropped a stick of dynamite from a high place?

If you were to drop a stick of dynamite from a high place, what would happen once it hit the ground, and why?
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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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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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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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Conservation of linear momentum after explosion with friction

Let's say you have a bomb at rest submerged in a liquid. It then explodes into two equal fragments A and B which leave in opposite directions. If we ignore the fluid and any sound or light we can ...
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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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Can water thermolyse in significant amounts?

According to Wikipedia water can thermolyse starting at around 1200 celcius, though the auto-ignition point of hydrogen is at around 535 celcius. I'm wondering in what sense water actually even ...
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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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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 ...
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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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Can hydrogen plasma react with oxygen?

What if you put hydrogen in a vacuum and turned it into a plasma? There is no oxygen in the vacuum, but once you eject the plasma would it react drastically with the oxygen? Would it explode? Would ...
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1answer
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 impossible for reactor grade uranium to be detonated?

So, this is a question that has been puzzling me for numerous reasons. Be it for advocating nuclear power, or getting a bit of nerd rage when watching a sci-fi work, or having an argument with someone....
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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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How large would the steam explosion at Chernobyl have been?

So the second episode of the HBO series began to cover the risk of a steam explosion that led to them sending three divers into the water below the reactor to drain the tanks. This occurred after the ...
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Can an atomic bomb/rocket with nuclear warhead's nuclear explosion be triggered by a conventional explosion close to it?

Starting the nuclear chain reaction isn't achieved trivially and depends on the design ((shot)gun or implosion). Can one be sure that with either of those designs the chain reaction (causing a thermo-...
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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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Was Chernobyl Explosion a Small Nuclear Detonation?

The Chernobyl reactor was designed to produce a maximum of 3.2 megawatts of power. It is now estimated to have produced 3.2 gigawatts of power in the final second of its life. The original ...
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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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How would a nuclear explosion really operate in outer space?

(Repost from RPG.SE, per the community's suggestion.) A friend recommended I post this question here - said I'd be more likely to get a useful response than, say, from Reddit. My question is: How ...
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Could you cause a small “nuclear” explosion manually

I've been having a discussion with a friend about nuclear materials and whether bringing two bits of subcritical fissile material together at a decent enough speed would cause a spontaneous explosion. ...
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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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Creating a black hole with explosives? [closed]

Would it be possible to compress enough matter into a small enough space using explosives, using roughly the same concepts as a nuclear bomb? of course, this couldn't be done with traditional ...
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Why did my thermos flask/jug explode after stirring with a stainless steel spoon?

I always use a thermos jug when making tea. This time I filled the jug with tea leaves and hot water (around 100 degree celcius). I closed the jug and noticed that the tea was too weak therefore I ...
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Where would the energy go if a nuke intercepted a meteor?

I thought of this question from watching the trailer for the new movie "Greenland" with Gerard Butler. Essentially in the trailer a huge comet falls towards the earth, apocalypse, etc. ...
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In atomic bomb tests under ground, where does the displaced 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 ...
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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 ...
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Beirut 2020 explosion vs a nuclear explosion with the same energy [closed]

Port Beirut disaster (ammonium nitrate explosion, 4 August 2020) was equivalent to 1.15 kt of TNT (4.4 TJ). It falls in the range of a small nuclear device (20 t TNT for the smallest, 15 kt TNT for ...
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Can open, unsafe nuclear fusion reaction burn the atmosphere?

I happened to hear people saying that the nuclear fusion bomb tests could set the atmosphere on fire. I have some serious doubts about that - but I have no facts. Nuclear fusion reaction requires $15*...
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Speed of particles in an exploded asteroid

An asteroid of mass $M$ explodes into a spherical homogeneous cloud in free space. Due to energy received by the explosion the cloud expands and the expansion is spherically symmetric. At an instant ...
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Speed of an explosion [closed]

If I am standing $10$ feet away from an explosion, what would hit me first? Shock wave, sound, shrapnel, etc (besides light!) If the shock wave was powerful enough, is it possible to be thrown out of ...
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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 ...

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